An oil sheen was spotted up to three miles away after two barges smashed into a bridge near Vicksburg, Mississippi on Sunday, the Coast Guard said in an advisory.
The Old Vicksburg Bridge was not significantly damaged, but officials said that one of the barges carrying up to 80,000 gallons of crude was seriously damaged and spilled an unknown amount of oil into the river.
Reports from area media suggest that one of the boats suffered a 24-foot gash along its side.
A Coast Guard pollution response team was on the scene Sunday setting up oil containment booms and trying to assess the size of the spill.
A stretch of river about eight miles long was also closed while repair and cleanup is underway.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.