The Coast Guard will hold a public hearing to consider evidence related to the explosion, fire, and subsequent loss of life that occurred on board Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc.'s B. No. 255 tank barge off the coast of Texas in 2017. The vessels were three miles off the Aransas Pass jetties when the fire broke out.
The Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered in New Orleans, will conduct the hearing at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston on July 16, 2018, at 8 a.m., and it will continue through July 27, 2018. The Coast Guard will release a detailed schedule at the beginning of July.
The hearing will focus on the condition of the barge prior to and at the time of the casualty, Bouchard Transportation's organizational structure and culture, the regulatory compliance record of the B. No. 255 tank barge and the 127’x37’x20’, 6,140-hp tugboat Buster Bouchard, and the Coast Guard inspections program.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting its own investigation, will fully participate in the formal public hearing.
The Coast Guard has established an e-mail address for the public and interested parties to provide information, ask questions and make comments related to the ongoing investigation and scheduled hearing. This e-mail will be checked regularly and all correspondence will be acknowledged. The e-mail is: [email protected].
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