Spill Closes Mississippi River at New Orleans

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Tintomara collided with a U.S.-flagged fuel barge DM932 on the Mississippi River near downtown . An estimated 419,000 gallons of oil spilled from the barge into the river.  According to reports, the Coast Guard says it probably will be at least several days before the Mississippi River can be reopened at .

Port officials reported that 25 ships were backed up.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched a Go Team to investigate the collision.  The barge is partially submerged and is being kept in place by tugboats. No injuries have been reported.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation responded to the incident by saying: “This morning’s oil spill on the Mississippi River is nothing less than a tragedy, and my colleagues on the Subcommittee and I will be thoroughly examining the causes leading up to this devastating event. It is of great concern that we have witnessed two major oil spills on waters in less than one year, and we must identify and implement whatever actions are necessary to prevent such mishaps from occurring in the future.

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