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Last Two Missing Crew in Corpus Christi Blast Found. Lawsuits Filed.

PortandTerminal.com, August 24, 2020

The bodies of the last two dredge vessel workers listed as missing after a pipeline explosion in Corpus Christi have been recovered, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

CORPUS CHRISTI – Coast Guard and salvage crews recovered the bodies of the two remaining crewmembers Monday after recovering a portion of the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd from the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in Corpus Christi, Texas.

All missing crewmembers are now accounted for and the families have been notified. 

Two of the presumed dead are Miguel Martinez and Rafael Espinoza, according to lawsuits filed in Harris County by Buzbee Law Firm. The families of Espinoza and Martinez are seeking $50 million in damages. 

“We can confirm that all four missing crewmen have been recovered,” said Mark Stauffer, CEO, Orion Marine Group. “We are grateful to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, and the rest of the associated agencies for their tireless efforts in assisting in the search and recovery efforts. We are devastated by the loss of four of our colleagues, each of whom has been a valuable part of the Orion team for many years. Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to their families and friends, and we ask that everyone please respect their privacy as we all work to recover from this terrible incident.” 

The portion of the dredging vessel was located in the middle of the channel during diving operations Sunday.

Pollution response and salvage operations of the dredging vessel are ongoing.

The Captain of the Port has modified the safety zone in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to allow vessel traffic throughout the Inner Harbor with restrictions. For the most recent Marine Safety Information Bulletins regarding the safety zone restrictions visit the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

Approximately 1,600 gallons of diesel fuel has been removed from the water.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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