07/31/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Oil Spill Shuts Mississippi River

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A collision between a chemical tanker and a fuel barge on the Mississippi River spilled over 400,000 gallons of fuel oil and prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close a 29-mile stretch of the waterway around New Orleans, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The river remained closed between Mile Marker 99, near the Harvey Canal, and Mile Marker 70, downstream from New Orleans, as of 11 a.m. CDT.

Vessel traffic was halted after the 1:30 a.m. CDT collision in which the MV Tintomara cut in half an American Commercial Lines barge loaded with No. 6 fuel oil.

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