Barge Accident: 14 Barges Break Away, Spilling 300 Gallons of Crude Oil into Mississippi

Posted in Barge Accidents,Maritime Accidents,Missouri Maritime News on May 3, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO. — The coast guard reports that hundreds of gallons of oil have spilled into the Mississippi River after a barge accident on early Friday morning near Alton, Missouri.

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

CBS Local News reported:

According to Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty, at least 14 barges along with numerous dry docks broke free overnight after a vessel struck them. Fogarty said that one of the barges was being loaded with crude oil, causing about 300 gallons of crude oil to spill into the Mississippi River.

Fogarty told the media that Coast Guard units are on scene performing inspections of the facilities and barges and conducting a shoreline assessment to evaluate any environmental damage.

“We’re only five-percent done with our assessment, there is still a lot of land to cover, a lot of area to go over and there is still a potential that this may have some environmental impact,” Fogarty said.

Captain of the Port closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 194 to 198 for about an hour this morning to allow for workers to clean the area.

“The Coast Guard is assessing the situation” explained Captain Byron Black, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River, “Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of people, the environment, and the waterway, to that end, we have personnel on scene actively inspecting affected facilities and vessels and evaluating the River.”

No injuries have been reported.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Blog post by barge injury lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP