Coast Guard investigating potential oil spill in Mississippi River

Story highlights

  • Two barges strike bridge near Vicksburg, Mississippi, and one leaks oil
  • The barge that was leaking was carrying 80,000 gallons of oil
  • The Coast Guard is not sure about how many gallons were spilled
  • No one injured in accident; Mississippi River was closed for 16 miles

Two tank barges loaded with light crude oil struck a bridge in the Mississippi River early Sunday morning.

The Coast Guard said it was trying to determine how many gallons may have been spilled into the river near Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The tank that was leaking contained 80,000 gallons of oil.

A Coast Guard team has stopped the source of the spill, the agency said in a news release.

The river is closed from mile marker 425 to 441.

No one was injured in the accident, which happened at 1:30 a.m.

The Mississippi River at Vicksburg moves about 890,000 cubic feet of water per second, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. If the vessel were to lose all its oil, that would be about 11,000 cubic feet.

In February 2012 a tanker barge spilled 10,000 gallons of oil into the Mississippi after a collision near New Orleans. The Coast Guard drained the barge and towed it to a repair facility.