An investigation and emergency response are underway at Bayou Perot where a fire off Louisiana's coast has been burning in an area crisscrossed by pipelines and heavily impacted by oil from BP's Gulf oil operation catastrophe that began in 2010.
Four people were injured, with one in critical condition, in an accident in a marshy area on Bayou Perot where Lafourche and Jefferson parishes meet.
Three were treated and released but one taken to a Baton Rouge burn unit was in critical condition, according to the Coast Guard.
The fire began Tuesday night, reportedly when a tug pushing a barge with 92,000-gallon crude oil cargo, struck a liquefied natural gas pipeline in an estimated two to three feet of water, but the incident is under investigation.
Smoke was seen 30 miles away in downtown New Orleans.
"The Coast Guard said pipeline owner Chevron shut off the flow of gas to the area, but what's left in the 19-mile section of pipeline could fuel the fire until Thursday or later," AP reports.
Coast Guard officials reported a sheen of oily material along a mile-long stretch near the site.
The Coast Guard's Capt. Jonathan Burton said the sheen might be diesel from the tug or lubricants that leaked from the accident site. He'd said earlier that the barge remained intact and no oil appeared to be leaking.
In what is apparently another human rights abuse, because not many people live there, they were not evacuated.
"The area is thinly populated and no evacuations were ordered," according to AP.
Burton said investigators had not determined why the Settoon Towing tug hit the pipeline.
When specifically asked if the tug was outside navigation channels, Burton would only say the accident was under investigation.