A massive explosion occurred at 3 a.m. EDT on one of the two barges still ablaze in the Mobile River in Mobile, Ala., on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

3 Injured by Alabama Barge Explosions

Gas fumes are the suspected cause of the city-rattling blasts.

A massive explosion occurred at 3 a.m. EDT on one of the two barges still ablaze in the Mobile River in Mobile, Ala., on Thursday, April 25, 2013.
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At least seven explosions shook Mobile, Ala., Wednesday night and left three people hospitalized as two barges burned near the city.

[PHOTOS: Alabama Fuel Barges Explode.]

The first explosion happened around 8:30 p.m. EDT as workers were cleaning one of the barges. One of the injured men fell into the Mobile River, NBC affiliate WPMI reported. All three men were in critical condition at a local hospital Wednesday night.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Mike Clausen told Fox affiliate WALA Thursday morning that the first barge to explode had a build-up of natural gasoline vapors. The second barge caught fire after the first explosion, he said.

Radio station WSAU reported that residents could feel the explosions ten miles away.

"We were up on a second floor balcony and the sky lit up in orange and yellow," Ft. Conde Inn general manager Alan Waught told WALA. "It sounded like planes above you dropping bombs when it first went off."

Mobile Fire and Rescue confirmed seven explosions before the blazes died out Thursday morning, WPMI reported.

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