The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday that authorities had secured several barges that broke free on the Mississippi River and that the river had reopened to traffic following a collision that caused a minor fuel leak.
The collision happened shortly after midnight at mile marker 95 near the Crescent City Connection and involved a tow vessel called the Lucia and barges at Stone Fleet. The Coast Guard said six barges broke away following the crash.
One damaged barge discharged about 20 gallons of “residual petroleum-based product,” officials said.
“The damaged barge poses no additional risk of pollution as a result of the incident,” said Lt. John FitzGerald, a Coast Guard spokesman.
Earlier in the morning, a tugboat could be seen holding a petroleum barge against the west bank of the river about 100 yards from the bridge, and containment booms had been placed around the barge. Small flatboats were working around the scene.
River travel was shut down, including the Canal/Algiers ferry, but reopened about 10:30 a.m. The river had been closed from mile marker 93 to marker 95.6.