This morning's incident also raises questions about the dredge, the vessel which struck an underwater propane pipeline causing Friday morning’s explosion, and the company operating it.
The Waymon L. Boyd is a formerly diesel-powered hydraulic dredge. In its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Report, Houston's Orion Marine Group said it recently spent $3.2 million retrofitting the Waymon Boyd to run on electric power.
It's not clear, though, how old the vessel is or if it had a history of problems, but court documents show the Waymon L. Boyd was involved in a lawsuit stemming from a 2012 voyage from Houston to Port Lavaca.
Details of that suit are unclear, but Orion Marine also was cited for at least one violation deemed "serious" by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration earlier this year.
However, an inspector who worked for Orion said he was surprised to hear about this morning's incident, saying his bosses at Orion were "good people," and the company took a very serious approach to safety.