Massive fuel spill closes part of Mississippi River - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Massive fuel spill closes part of Mississippi River

<P _extended="true"><B _extended="true">(CNN) [/B]-- The U.S. Coast Guard has closed 29 miles of the Mississippi River from New Orleans southward after a tanker and a barge collided, spilling more than 400,000 gallons of fuel oil into the river.<DIV class=cnnStoryPhotoBox _extended="true"><DIV class=cnnImgChngr id=cnnImgChngr _extended="true"> <DIV class=cnnStoryPhotoCaptionBox _extended="true"><DIV class=cnn3pxTB9pxLRPad _extended="true"><P _extended="true">Tugboats hold up pieces of a barge after it collided with a tanker Wednesday in the Mississippi River in New Orleans.</DIV></DIV><DIV class=cnnWireBoxFooter _extended="true"> </DIV></DIV></DIV><P _extended="true">The river, a major shipping route between the Midwest and Gulf of Mexico, could be closed for days during the cleanup, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.<P _extended="true">More than 30 ships already are queued up along the river, waiting to pass through the closed zone, Coast Guard Petty Officer Jaclyn Young said. <P _extended="true">The Coast Guard has deployed 45,000 feet of inflatable booms to contain the spill and is lining up another 29,000 feet, but it could be days before the river is reopened, she said.<P _extended="true">The accident left a sheen over 90 percent of the area, she said.<P _extended="true">However, the spill is much smaller than the ones that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were dumped into the Mississippi and nearby waterways. <P _extended="true">The collision between the Liberian-flagged chemical tanker Tintomara and the barge pushed by the tug Mel Oliver occurred about 1:30 a.m. CT (2:30 a.m. ET) Wednesday, resulting in more than 419,000 gallons of oil spilling into the river, Young said.<DIV class=cnnStoryElementBox _extended="true"><H4 _extended="true">Don't Miss</H4><UL class=cnnRelated _extended="true"><LI _extended="true">iReport.com: Are you there? Share photos, video, stories </LI>[/list]</DIV><P _extended="true">The accident occurred just off downtown New Orleans, near the massive bridges connecting downtown to the west bank of the Mississippi, she said.<P class=cnnInline _extended="true">The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it was sending investigators to probe the cause of the accident.
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