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Mississippi River oil spill: why Yazoo turn is treacherous

A Mississippi River barge that crashed Sunday is still leaking oil. The accident occurred at one of the two most difficult turns on the river.


Five barges sit on the Mississippi River north of Vicksburg, Miss., Monday waiting for traffic to open. A barge carrying thousands of gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge and began leaking before dawn Sunday.

Melanie Thortis/The Vicksburg Evening Post/AP

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Oil continued to leak into the Mississippi River Tuesday from a barge containing more than 600,000 gallons of light crude, following an accident that took place early Sunday morning in Vicksburg, Miss.

The US Coast Guard says it has not yet determined how much oil escaped but that skimming operations have captured about 2,300 gallons of oily water mixture and about 7,000 gallons remain unaccounted for.

The vessel is one of two tank barges pushed downriver by a tugboat that failed to make a dangerous turn south of Vicksburg, where the Yazoo River empties into the Mississippi. The collision resulted from one barge striking a railroad bridge, damaging one of the eight onboard oil tanks.


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