Mississippi River Shut Down After Oil Barge Crash
Investigators not sure how large spill is
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2013 6:30 AM CST
The towboat Nature Way Endeavor banks a barge against the western bank of the Mississippi River, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. The river was closed to all traffic eight miles north and south of Vicksburg.   (AP Photo/Vicksburg Post, Eli Baylis)

(Newser) – Oil spilled into the Mississippi River yesterday when a barge carrying 80,000 gallons of it hit a railroad bridge in Vicksburg, Miss., the AP reports. Investigators don't know how much oil spilled, but a sheen was reported as far as three miles downriver. A second barge owned by the same company was also damaged, and the waterway was closed for miles, but authorities don't think the Gulf of Mexico—more than 340 river miles to the south—is at risk.

"Investigators are still trying to figure out what happened," says a Coast Guard spokesperson, and authorities are still trying to find the source of the leak. The second vessel does not appear to be leaking; it's not clear whether it hit the first or whether it also hit the bridge. US Environmental Services is working to contain the oil with booms and eventually collect it, but the Coast Guard doesn't know how long the river will be closed in the area.

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Jan 28, 2013 2:55 PM CST
Because the gulf oil spill wasn't enough of an environmental disaster - we have to have no drinkable or fish-able waters left before someone will actually do something...
Jan 28, 2013 11:36 AM CST
In this day and age, big boats and bridges should have some kind of collision avoidance system.
Jan 28, 2013 10:45 AM CST
This oil spill was an accident hopefully. I am more concerned with the chemicals they intentionally dump in Lake Minnetonka and other recreational lakes for weed control. The have been doing this for years and need to make EVERYONE that uses the lake aware that it is a toxic mix and you should not eat fish or vegetables that are exposed to the water and NO ONE should go in the water. The EPA has found that it has no measurable effect on animals or humans, breaks down in sunlight and lingers in the water for about 30 days, Osgood said. During that time, however, water from the treated area should not be used to water lawns or gardens. Laurie Blake • 612-673-1711 One of the chemicals used is: Endothall is moderately toxic. The LD50 is the dose which kills half of the test animals treated. The oral LD50 for disodium endothall is 51 mg/kg for rats and 250 mg/kg for guinea pigs (3, 5). The LD50 is 750 mg/kg for rats and 100 mg/kg for rabbits whose skin is exposed to disodium endothall (3, 10, 11). In humans, ingestion of 7 to 8g of disodium endothall causes repeated vomiting, hemorrhages, swelling in the lungs, and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract (12). That doesn't sound safe to me. Would you want your children or grand children in this water? Another chemical used is: Triclopyr is slightly toxic to mallard ducks. When fed the compound, the LD50 was 1698 mg/kg. Bobwhite quail and Japanese quail fed for eight days had LC50's of 2,935 ppm and 3,278 ppm, respectively. The compound is practically non-toxic to fish. Triclopyr has a LC50 of 117 ppm for rainbow trout and a 96-hour LC50 of 148 ppm for bluegill sunfish. The compound is practically non-toxic to the aquatic invertebrate Daphnia magna, a water flea (LC50 for the triclopyr salt of 1170 ppm) (10). The compound is PRACTICALLY non-toxic to fish ???? Like Hydra Choleric Acid is Practically none toxic if you don’t come in contact with it