Mississippi River Remains Closed After Barge Accident

VICKSBURG, Miss. (January 29, 2013)—The U.S. Coast Guard says nearly four-dozen vessels were stacked up Tuesday on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Miss., awaiting clearance as crews work around the clock to clean up an oil spill.

Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally told The Associated Press early Tuesday workers were skimming oily water after a barge holding 80,000 gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge and began leaking Sunday.

Lally says oil was being contained and a helicopter crew found no evidence it washed ashore downriver.

A boom was stretched across part of the river as oil was pumped from a ruptured tank into another tank on the barge.

Officials hoped to later transfer the oil to another barge.

The river remained closed to traffic for 16 miles Tuesday, with 47 vessels waiting for it to reopen.

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