2 barges hit bridge; dump oil into Mississippi River

VICKSBURG, Miss. (KNOE) — The United States Coast Guard is investigating after two barges hit a bridge and started leaking oil into the Mississippi River.

Guardsmen said two barges are heavily damaged after striking the Vicksburg Railroad Bridge early Sunday morning around 1 a.m.

Video shows one barge remains near the crash site, while the other floated farther south on the river. However, crews now have that barge.

The Coast Guard is working to repair a gash in one of the barges that’s leaking oil into the river.

[CG :2 LINE\HERMAN SMITH\VICKSBURG BRIDGE COMMISSION]

“Well we know that it’s reported that there’s a 24-foot gash on the side of the barge and they rounded it up a little farther south,” Vicksburg Bridge Commission’s Herman Smith said.

Smith said crews checked the bridge’s piers and the structure showed no signs of damage. Additionally, the railroad checked the tracks and those were fine, too, Smith said.

Guardsmen do not know how much crude oil that has spilled into the river. Officials said booms have been brought into stop the oil from spreading downriver.

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