Three killed in barge explosion in Western Kentucky

Calvert City Fire Department

Three people were killed Friday and six were injured when a tugboat exploded on the Tennessee River in Marshall County, according to Kentucky State Police.

The explosion caused a flash fire on the boat, which was docked at a property owned by First Marine near Calvert City, according to state police. The boat belongs to Smithland Towing, and workers from First Marine, Four Rivers Marine Coating, Hutco and Thermal Control were at the site when the explosion occurred. Not all of the 41 workers who were at the site were on the boat at the time.

Responders found Timothy L. Wright, 52, of Calvert City, Jerome A. Smith, 56, of Thibodaux, La., and Quentin J. Stewart, 41, of Opelousas, La., dead at the scene, according to state police.

Jimmy Lange and Billy Counts were flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries after the explosion, according to state police. Their ages have not been released.

James Lang and Tyler Wedington, whose ages were also not released, were taken by ambulance to Lourdes Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, according to state police. Javier Fuenes, 21, and Wilson Madrid, 23, suffered minor injuries in the explosion and were taken by ambulance to local hospitals.

State police are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosion. Anyone with information related to the case can call Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721 or speak anonymously at 1-800-222-5555.

After the explosion, the Coast Guard was called to conduct a water search, according to the West Kentucky Star.

Fire boats were also sent in from the local fire department, according to some reports.

Mike Stunson: 859-231-1324, @mike_stunson