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REUTERS/Dan Anderson

Two fuel barges exploded in flames and burned through the night in Mobile, Ala., critically injuring three people and causing minor injuries to emergency responders.

A fire chief initially said the two barges were loaded with a type of gasoline, but the owner of the barges told the AP they had been emptied of their loads of fuel and were being cleaned before they exploded.

The first explosion was reported at about 8:30 p.m. local time, with six more explosions shaking the area during the subsequent six hours as the barges burned uncontrollably. The fire was extinguished Thursday morning.