Vicksburg, Miss. - Cleanup continues along the Mississippi River at Vicksburg after a barge carrying 800,000 gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge early Sunday morning, spilling light crude into the Mississippi River and closing the waterway for miles.
WLBT-TV reported Monday that the U. S. Coast E.P.A. and other agencies had five response vessels on the Louisiana side of the river where the oil spilled from the ruptured tank of the barge.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Ryan Gomez said a tug was pushing two tank barges when the collision occurred about 1:30 a.m. CST Sunday. Both barges were damaged, but only one leaked.
An oily sheen was reported down river of the accident but booms were used to absorb the spill and keep it from continuing downstream.
Crews were skimming the oil from the water and monitoring the oil level inside the ruptured tank. Officials don't know how much entered the river.
Monday night a vessel was en route to Vicksburg to unload the remaining oil from the ruptured tank.
Traffic along Interstate 20 was not affected. Investigators say the bridge was tested and found safe for rail travel after the accident.
Authorities said a major environmental disaster was unlikely as the swift current dispersed the oil. They were less certain when the river would reopen to vessels.