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

(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.

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.
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)
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.
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)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
10%
4%
69%
1%
7%
8%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!