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Coast Guard responds to barge on fire approximately three miles from Port Aransas jetties in Texas, U.S., October 20, 2017. Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS


(Reuters) - Two crew members were missing from a barge that caught fire and exploded while carrying about 133,000 barrels of crude oil to a refinery early on Friday in the Gulf of Mexico off Corpus Christi, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Six of the eight crew members were accounted for and the barge was anchored about two miles off Port Aransas Jetty, officials said.

"There are initial reports of some oil in the water," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

It was not immediately known if any of the crew of the tug Buster Bouchard suffered serious injuries or what caused the fire.

The Coast Guard has established a safety zone and the fire was still burning, officials said.

A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and a representative from Bouchard Transportation, which owns the barge, has been set up to manage the incident, Coast Guard said.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth in Texas and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman; Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)

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