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Mississippi oil spill when barge and tanker collide

12 August 2008

An oil spill along the Mississippi has been caused by a barge colliding with a heavy tanker and starting to leak. The barge was carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel at this time.
Environmentalists have voiced concerns over effects on wildlife, although only a small number of birds have been found oil-covered.

Mississippi oil spill – Barge and tanker collide
Mississippi oil spill – Barge and tanker collide

To reduce any environmental effects downstream, especially on the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, booms have been deployed at the river’s mouth.

Around 65 vessels were left stranded as the river was closed to all traffic. Estimated losses of $100,000 a day have been reported, having a significant effect on the economy.

Water supplies have also been affected, cities on the east side of the Mississippi can safely drink tap water, but water intake facilities in St.Bernard and Plaquemines have remained closed. Clean up needs to occur as rapidly as possible.

The spill is being thoroughly investigated, yet no blame has been assigned, despite the operator pushing the barge, being improperly licensed.

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