Update: Damaged barge leaking oil halts Mississippi traffic - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Update: Damaged barge leaking oil halts Mississippi River traffic

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JACKSON, Miss. (KNOE 8 News & AP) - Update: The Coast Guard says a normally bustling stretch of the Mississippi River remains closed to barge and ship traffic as cleanup crews with booms work to remove an oily sheen near Vicksburg after a barge with 80,000 gallons of oil hit a railroad bridge last weekend.

Coast Guard Lt. Ryan Gomez told The Associated Press on Monday that at least 21 other vessels such as towboats and barges are stalled by the river closing as crews with booms and a skimming device are removing hundreds of gallons of oily water from the river.

He says investigators are trying to determine why a tug pushing two tank barges collided with the bridge early Sunday. Another barge also was damaged.

He says cleanup crews are working to remove the leaking barge's remaining oil.

Previous Report:

VICKSBURG, Miss (KNOE 8 News) - The United States Coast Guard in Mississippi has a command center set up along the shore of the Mississippi River.

Currently guardsmen are aiming to contain oil leaking from a damaged barge. it contained about 80, 000 gallons of crude oil in it.

The coast guard says at around 1 o'clock Sunday morning, a vessel dragging two barges struck the Vicksburg Railroad Bridge.

Both barges are heavily damaged, according to a spokesperson.

It's unknown how much oil is leaking in the Mississippi River. To help contain the crude, guardsmen have placed booms near the area of impact.

Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield says the bridge remains open Sunday.

We'll continue to follow this story as it develops.

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