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.
This video is from Biloxi, Mississippi-based WLOX-TV, aired Sunday, January 27, 2013.