Oct. 20 (UPI) -- One person died and two others were missing after a barge exploded and caught fire Friday in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Aransas, Texas.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the explosion happened around 4:35 a.m. about 3 miles off the coast.
"The whole place illuminated, I kind of taught that the sun was coming out," said Phillip Alvarado, a fisherman who witnessed the incident.
The barge, carrying 140,000 barrels of crude oil, was crossing a sand bar with assistance from a tug boat at the time of the explosion. The Coast Guard safely evacuated six crew members from the vessel.
Officials closed the Port of Corpus Christi pending the stabilization of the barge. The Coast Guard said there was an oil spill 2 miles by a quarter mile wide.