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Barges carrying raw gasoline explode near Mobile, Alabama; 3 injured

Two fuel barges docked in Mobile, Ala., exploded Wednesday night, leaving three people in critical condition with burn-related in juries.

MOBILE, Alabama - Explosions and resulting fires on two barges in the Mobile River off the Alabama city's shore injured three people and forced officials to evacuate nearby shipyards and one cruise vessel on Wednesday. 

Mobile Fire Chief Steve Dean said that for safety reasons firefighters were keeping a distance from the barges, which were carrying raw gasoline and had already been the source of multiple explosions.

The barge explosions forced the crew of Carnival Corp's cruise vessel Triumph to evacuate.

"Everybody is just monitoring the situation right now," Dean told reporters.

John David Mercer / AP

Fire burns aboard two fuel barges along the Mobile River after explosions sent three workers to the hospital on Wednesday.

Three people with a team servicing the barges were injured and transported to Mobile's University of South Alabama Medical Center, Mobile Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Steve Huffman said. A hospital spokesman said separately that they were all in critical condition.

Fire officials had initially said the barge explosions involved natural gas.

Huffman had no information on who owns the barges or details of their destination.

The cause of the explosions was unknown, he added.

Carnival Corp's Triumph previously made headlines in February when an engine fire left it and 4,000 passengers adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, until they were towed back to land.

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