A bulk carrier became unmoored on the Mississippi River near Convent and crashed into two other large vessels Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.
A 9-mile section of the river remained closed Monday night, as the cause of the incident is still unclear, said Coast Guard spokesman Carlos Vega.
About 4 p.m., the Privocean began drifting away from its secured position and slammed into another vessel, the Texas — causing the Texas to take on water, Vega said.
A crew on the Texas was able to steer the vessel onshore to prevent further waterlogging. But the Privocean continued down the river, where it slammed into a third vessel — an 816-foot tank ship called the Bravo, Vega said.
The Bravo began leaking fuel, and all three vessels eventually were anchored.
While it’s not yet clear how much oil leaked into the river, the amount has not affected the water supply, because water intakes in St. James Parish remain open, said Eric Deroche, the parish director for emergency preparedness.