Oil spill closes part of Miss. River in Louisiana

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Associated Press

Posted on February 23, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 23 at 7:35 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard says a 65-mile (105-kilometer) stretch of the Mississippi River is closed until further notice while crews clean up oil from a barge that hit a towboat between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The collision happened Saturday afternoon near Vacherie (VASH-uh-ree), 47 miles (76 kilometers) west of New Orleans. In nearby St. Charles Parish, officials say public drinking water intakes on the river are closed as a precaution.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough (KOHL-klah) says the barge was one of two loaded with light crude being pushed by the Hannah C. Settoon. He says it hit the Lindsay Ann Erickson, which was pushing grain barges.

Colclough says nobody was hurt and all barges remained secured.

Colclough says officials don't know how much oil spilled, but only a sheen of oil is reported on the river.

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