The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 28, 2013

Barge hits Miss. River bridge; oil cleanup ongoing

— VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Cleanup crews with booms skimmed oily water from the Mississippi River a day after a barge with more than 80,000 gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge near Vicksburg, spreading a sheen of light crude that kept part of the waterway shut to ship traffic Monday, authorities said.

It remained unclear Monday morning how much oil had leaked into the river, according to the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers.

Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally said that on Monday afternoon, oil was "still discharging, but it is slowly discharging."

He said crews are looking for oil roughly 50 miles downriver from the site.

"It's minimal, if any, environmental impact due to the swift current" further downriver, Lally said.

He said the investigation is continuing closer to the site, but there is still no word on how much oil has leaked or how long it will take to transfer oil from the damaged barge to another barge.

The spill backed up at least 24 tugboats, barges and other vessels on the normally bustling corridor, said Kavanaugh Breazeale, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg. The river was closed to traffic for 16 miles — eight miles north and eight miles south of Vicksburg.

Breazeale said it was uncertain how long the river would remain closed.

He said the damaged barge had eight tanks and each tank could hold 80,000 gallons of oil. He said the investigation had shown that one tank was pierced above the water line.

"It's not leaking that much oil," Breazeale said.

Tugs were holding the barge near shore on the Louisiana side of the river, south of the bridge it hit and directly across from Vicksburg's Riverwalk Casino.

Orange containment boom was stretched across part of the river downstream from the barge, and a small boat appeared to patrol the area.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee