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Mississippi River Reopened to Vessels after Oil Removed

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 4:49am

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VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — The Coast Guard has reopened the Mississippi River to vessel traffic in both directions after finishing the cleanup of thousands of gallons of oil from a leaking barge.

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Officials said in a news release Saturday that the safety zone has been reduced to one mile on either side of the two barges that collided with a railroad bridge near Vicksburg last Sunday, causing a leak from one barge. Vessels are not permitted to pass or overtake other vessels within the zone.

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The news release said the light crude oil was "effectively removed" to allow for a damage assessment, temporary repairs and transit of the barges to a maritime facility. More than 250,000 gallons of a mixture of oil and water was removed

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The Coast Guard said its investigation of the incident is continuing.

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