Mississippi River opens after Monday afternoon vessel collision, oil spill

Updated: Apr. 7, 2015 at 6:44 AM CDT
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CONVENT, LA (WVUE) - - The Mississippi River is now open in St. James Parish following a vessel collision and oil spill late Monday afternoon.

While the river is open, it is restricted to one-way traffic between mile marker 160 and 163, according to the United States Coast Guard.

Crews continue to monitor the water quality following the collision on the lower Mississippi River near Convent.

Around 4 p.m. Monday, the motor vessel Privocean, a 751-foot bulk carrier, broke free from its mooring. Coast Guard officials say the vessel drifted downriver and collided with the 98-foot towing vessel Texas, which was moored at the time.

Crew members of the Texas were taken to the hospital for medical evaluation, but no injuries were reported, according to the Coast Guard.

The Privocean continued to drift downriver and collided with the motor vessel Bravo, an 816-foot tank ship that was offloading crude oil. The Bravo was able to complete emergency shutdown procedures before breaking free of its moorings and connection points, causing an oil spill.

Approximately 126 gallons of oil were spilled on deck of the Bravo, according to the Coast Guard. Initial assessments show approximately 420 gallons of oil discharged into the river. The Coast Guard informed the down-river Parish Officials to protect municipal water supplies.

The spill was contained and is currently being cleaned. Water plants are monitoring the situation.

Coast Guard officials say the water is safe and there is no cause for alarm.

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