MARITIME CASUALTY - WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHY

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Barge Collision Closes Mississippi

A portion of the lower Mississippi River remains closed Friday after two barges collided approximately 50 miles north of New Orleans.

According to a Coast Guard report, a construction barge being towed by the M/V Alydar collided with a tank barge being towed by the M/V Clarence W. Settoon early Friday morning near mile marker 139 on Mississippi River.  As a result, the tank barge suffered a gash in her side above the waterline that released some of her cargo of Louisiana sweet crude oil.

So far the USCG has not yet determined the amount of oil released however it is said to have been less than 10,000 gallons.  At the time, the tank barge was loaded with 3,535 barrels, or about 148,470 gallons.

A section of the lower Mississippi River near LaPlace was closed after the collision but was partially reopened this morning at 11 a.m. CST to southbound traffic one vessel at a time.  For northbound vessels, the section will be open 6:00 p.m. CST Friday to 4 a.m. CST Saturday, while southbound traffic is stopped.

No injuries were reported and an investigation has been launched.

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