Barge Collision Causes Oil Spill in Mississippi River

The Coast Guard worked to clean up 2,100 gallons of an oil byproduct from the Mississippi River after a tow boat and a barge collided Sunday morning.

Louisiana officials said Monday that most of the oil had been contained.

The accident occurred at 5 a.m. under the Port Allen side of the Mississippi River Bridge. The towing vessel crashed into the barge as it was loading “vacuum gas oil,” a byproduct generated during the crude oil refining process. The spilled oil does not pose any health risks, the Coast Guard said.

State Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Rodney Mallett said that most of the oil remained on the barge. Workers removed 385 gallons of the liquid and found no traces left as of Monday morning.

“All potentially impacted water intakes have been notified, and no report of contamination has been reported,” the Coast Guard stated in a news release. “At this point in time, the [vacuum gas oil] is gathering at a natural collection point located at Mile Marker 223 (just North of Dow Chemical) in the form of tar balls ranging in size from golf balls to baseballs.”

The Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Baton Rouge is investigating the collision, WAFB reports.

Categorized | Rivers, Lakes & Wetlands
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