Update: An update from the Coast Guard said that lightering operations on the damaged barge concluded early Sunday morning and the source of the spill was secured. Oil spill response vessels and recovery equipment remain deployed on the river.
The Captain of the Port closed the river from mile marker 90 to mile maker 155 to avoid possible contamination of passing vessels and to reduce the amount of oil spreading further down the river.
Earlier: The U.S. Coast Guard responded Saturday to a report of an oil spill in the lower Mississippi River after two vessels collided near Vacherie, Louisiana.
The Coast Guard said it received a report at approximately 3:30 p.m. that a vessel collided with a tank barge near mile marker 154 as it transited along the river. The collision damaged the barge which caused a release of light crude oil into the Mississippi River, the Coast Guard said.
No information has been released about how much oil was released into the river. There were no injuries reported.
A Unified Command has been established with the U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and the unidentified responsible party.