BREAKING: Multiple Natural Gas Explosions In Alabama; More Consequences Of Deregulation? (VIDEO)

Alabama_Barge
The Austal USA natural gas facility in Mobile, Alabama has suffered from a catastrohpic failure late Wednesday night. At least four individual explosions have been reported as of 11:30pm local time. Early video footage of the explosions has already been released:

At least three have been injured from the explosion and subsequent fire. There have been conflicting reports on if the explosion was of the facility itself, or of one of the barges used for transportation of natural gas at this time. For the needs of safety, a three-mile no-fly zone has been established around the plant, in order to allow air-dropped firefighting equipment access.

Natural gas explosions are becoming far more common in recent months. However, the preliminary reports of the scope of this particular explosion is raising concerns.

Checking with the EPA, it turns out that this facility has not had an inspection since 2010, and during its last inspection they found violations. Before then, it had only had two prior inspections for the previous 5 years. Why was it not inspected? Budget cuts under the new Republican controlled congress starting in 2011, which forced three planned for inspections to be cancelled.


The Mobile fire department has not yet begun to control the fire, with the department reportedly saying:

Planning to let it burn. Still too unstable.

The Coast Guard has implemented a 1-mile safety zone on the water, concerned over additional explosions. The true concern is if pressure continues to build up inside of the barges, it could become a catastrophic event. So far, the venting system has prevented an explosive build-up, but the fire department is on-scene to monitor the situation. The real concern if the pressure builds to the point of explosion is a nearby grain silo, which is currently full and if exposed to an explosion of natural gas, would itself become explosive.

Addicting Info will continue to monitor this situation as it develops.