A maritime accident involving two barges on the Mississippi River led to an oil spill, and caused a portion of the river to be closed down recently. The accident occurred on the Mississippi River about 50 miles from New Orleans.
The accident involved a construction barge that was being towed by the tugboat Alydar and the tank barge, which was being towed by the motor vessel Clarence W. Settoon. According to Coast Guard, the two barges collided, and this caused a large 10-foot fracture in the tank barge just above the water line. At the time of the accident, the tank barge was carrying 3,535 barrels of sweet crude oil. Some of this oil leaked into the river. The Coast Guard has estimated that about 10,000 gallons of oil was spilled into the water.
The Coast Guard has launched response teams, and has also brought in pollution investigators from its New Orleans sector. According to the agency, it is working together with state as well as local partners in order to clean up the oil spill, and protect the marine ecosystem from damage.Fortunately, no worker injuries have been reported as a result of this maritime accident. The Mississippi River is one of the country’s most important inland waterways, and on any given day, crude oil and petroleum products are transported both ways on the river.
Workers injured in barge accidents on these inland waterways may also qualify as Jones Act seamen under certain circumstances. If you have been injured in a barge or other vessel on an inland waterway, speak with a maritime attorney at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers to learn your rights.