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Mississippi River traffic limited after ship hits 2 vessels

NEW ORLEANS — A three-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is limited to one-way traffic upriver, a day after a ship broke free of its mooring and hit two other vessels, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Petty Officer Carlos Vega said the one-way traffic would continue until the three vessel involved in Monday’s collision are inspected.

The Coast Guard had closed several miles of river near Convent on Monday after the Privocean — a 751-foot bulk carrier — broke free, drifted and struck a 98-foot towing vessel, the Texas. Petty Officer Carlos Vega said the Texas took on water and grounded on a river bank. Authorities said the Privocean drifted further downriver and hit the 816-foot tank ship Bravo, which spilled about 420 gallons of crude oil.

A backlog of southbound ships cleared the accident site early Tuesday morning and seven northbound vessels moved through area around day break.

Vega said once the inspection of the damaged ships is complete, officials will then consider reopening the river to two-way traffic.

 

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