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April 19, 2014

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River closed at New Orleans after barge spills oil

Updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 | 3:46 a.m.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River remains closed at New Orleans following a weekend collision that resulted in crude oil spilling from a barge.

A Coast Guard spokesman says authorities involved in the cleanup and investigation plan a Monday morning conference call as they work on estimates of how much oil spilled and when the river will re-open.

At last count Sunday night, the river closure affected 26 vessels — 16 waiting to go downriver and 10 waiting to go upriver.

Officials reported only a light sheen following the accident but river traffic was halted to avoid contaminating passing vessels and to prevent oil from spreading downriver.

No injuries were reported in Saturday afternoon's accident involving the barge and a tugboat near Vacherie, 47 miles west of New Orleans.