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Oil leak closes 65-mile strech of the Mississippi River

Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, including the Port of New Orleans, was closed to all water traffic Sunday as crews cleaned up oil that spilled from a barge after it ran into a towboat between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the Coast Guard said.

Officials don't know how much oil spilled, but only a sheen was reported on the river following the collision, which happened Saturday afternoon near Vacherie, 47 miles west of New Orleans by land, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough.

No one was hurt and all barges were secured, Colclough said.

By late Sunday afternoon, 16 vessels were waiting to go downriver and 10 vessels were waiting in an upriver queue, he said. He could not estimate when the river would reopen. The cause of the collision was under investigation.

Public drinking water intakes on the river were closed as a precaution in nearby St. Charles Parish, officials said. "The water supply in St. Charles Parish remains safe," parish officials said in a news release Sunday afternoon.

The barge, one of two loaded with light crude and being pushed by the Hannah C. Settoon, hit the Lindsay Ann Erickson, which was pushing grain barges, Colclough said.

He said the rest of the oil on the damaged barge had been pumped into another barge by early Sunday.

He did not know if the Lindsay Ann Erickson was damaged.

An online Coast Guard database shows that the 84.5-foot-long Hannah C. Settoon was built in 2010 and is owned by Settoon Towing LLC of Pierre Part, La. The Lindsay Ann Erickson, built in 1982, is 168 feet long and owned by General Electric Capital Corp. of Irving, Texas.

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dood612 February 24 2014 at 9:24 AM

Check your spelling in headline.

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jamnjer29 February 24 2014 at 9:08 AM

This story sounds suspicious to me.........could this accident been done on purpose? A way to turn public opinion toward accepting the preposed pipe line.

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nancy February 24 2014 at 8:43 AM

Even in the most policed situations, accidents happen. To want to halt an improved vision of the future is shortsighted. If we only live with the 'what ifs' then we wouldn't have had the industrial revolution, space travel, etc.
To bring this debate as a forewarning of the pipeline is naïve.

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jebutler February 24 2014 at 7:31 AM

How much safer would it be to transport the oil over a pipeline? You know, I would prefer that if anyone wants to dispute what I wrote that they don't use the same bull that was used 40 + years ago with the Alaskan pipeline. Please, you must have come up with something better by now. Although I haven't seen any that have.

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PHILL AND TRISHA February 24 2014 at 7:23 AM

...........more of "corporate America,"policing itself'...just wait until the xl pipeline spills its goo over north Americas largest underground water supply!..kiss Americans drinking water goodbye for the good of wealthy oil barons offshore bank accounts!

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2 replies to PHILL AND TRISHA's comment
jebutler February 24 2014 at 7:28 AM

Wasn't it you who said the same thing about the Alaskan pipeline? That devastation never happened either.

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hillpeabody February 24 2014 at 9:31 AM

This has nothing to do with "corporate America policing itself".

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fred February 24 2014 at 6:54 AM

Need solar/wind powered everything (like say, oh, I don't know; how 'bout Gore's jet or your car?) so this wouldn't happen. BUT: I will continue to drive my gasoline powered Shelby GT-H Mustang while volcanoes continue to erupt worldwide......HAHAHA.

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dal February 24 2014 at 6:48 AM

If this country could figure a way to harness the political Bull**** coming out of our politicians mouths in the country and turn it into electricity they could see our coast line glowing from over the horizon well into europe.

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fred February 24 2014 at 6:56 AM

Would cause the world to self ignite, really contributing to global warming/cooling or whatever the latest buzzword is from the chicken littles.

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sjbcountry February 24 2014 at 6:39 AM

the politians allow the oil companies to export diesel fuel AND GAS that is why diesel AND GAS is so high now. the news is more worried about who is gay and who is not while we continue TO BE gouged by the unions, oil companies so the politians can get their $$ to further lie to us so the uninformed ELECT THEM--FOLKS BETTER WAKE UP BEFORE THE WHOLE THINGS GOES TO %%%%--WHERE IS WALTER CRONKITE, CHET AND DAVID WHEN WE NEED THEM?????????????--THE MEDIA HAS FAILED US ALSO

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dal February 24 2014 at 7:09 AM

No the modern (so called ) news media is doing it's job well, not reporting but making news.

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rastasandliza February 24 2014 at 5:50 AM

I agree with all the comments. But lets go further. When a refinery has a disaster like explosion and fire, when a oil pipeline bursts, when a well has a disaster such as the Gulf of Mexico disaster, Exxon Valdes in Alaska, or any other petroleum disaster, let the clean up money come from the decreasing the dividends shared by stock holders and not by increasing prices of gasoline, natural gas or any petroleum products, to the general public. Shareholders could put pressure on the petroleum companies, to be more careful in those cleanups and disasters.

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dal February 24 2014 at 6:43 AM

BRA! HA HAHAHAHAHAAH! "sniff" sorry I am sure the federal goverment and it's boss, the oil industry agrees whole heartedly with your idea. Higher prices at the pump not just profit the industry but increase tax revenue, win, win! for you and me not so much.

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rx901tn February 24 2014 at 5:33 AM

now the price of gas goes up ,
why are we sending oil over seas
price of reg gas in mex is only 56 cent a gallon
we are paying 3.37 a gallon something wrong with that picture . who scre w ing us now ?

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1 reply to rx901tn's comment
dal February 24 2014 at 6:50 AM

really? you need to ask? who just pulled it out of you last?

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