Officials investigate oil spill in Mississippi River

Mississippi River oil spill

Federal, state and local officials are investigating an oil spill in the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi. On January 27, around 1:30 a.m., two oil barges being pushed by a tugboat collided with a railroad bridge in Vicksburg, according to Reuters.

No one injured in the early morning accident but a vessel holding 80,000 gallons of light crude oil leaked an unspecified amount of oil into the river. Reuters reported that “a towing vessel was pushing two barges side-by-side and they struck one of the Vicksburg railroad bridge piers.”

The Los Angeles Times said that at least 21 vessels were backed up along the river while authorities investigated the site on January 28. More than 2,500 feet of boom were placed in the river to contain the spill.

The sheen from the spill was visible on the water for several miles, but the Times reported that that was not necessarily an indication of the damage.

The Times identified Nature's Way Marine LLC of Theodore, Alabama as owners of the tugboat known as the Nature's Way Endeavor. The tugboat is described as a 3,000 horsepower, 90-feet-long boat. The barges involved in the accident are owned by an unidentified Texas firm.

Learn more about crude oil tankers in the PennEnergy research area.

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