Fuel spill closes river, fouls air in New Orleans

Chris Miller
April 12, 2018 - 1:30 pm

A fuel spill on the Mississippi River fouled the water and the air as thousands filled Woldenberg Park on the New Orleans riverfront for French Quarter Festival. A strong petrochemical odor was noticeable in the park.

The Coast Guard says a cargo ship hit a pier and spilled 4,200 gallons of diesel fuel oil, and 10 miles of the Mississippi River was closed for the cleanup.  

A news release says the Singapore-flagged ``Pac Antares'' hit the pier Thursday morning. Nobody was hurt.  

The New Orleans Advocate reported the vessel hit a pier upriver near Jefferson Avenue.

The publication reports the leak has been plugged. 

The spill also shut down the ferries that travel from Algiers and Gretna to the Canal St. terminal.

Click here to read more from The New Orleans Advocate.

The river closure stopped the Canal Street Ferry on a busy day: the French Quarter Festival's first day. News media reported that a bus will shuttle people to and from the Algiers Ferry Landing across the river from the French Quarter.  

OMI Environmental Solutions was brought in to clean the spill.  

The Coast Guard says it was putting out containment and absorbent booms and pads, and had a skimmer boat pulling oil from the surface, with four more on the way.  


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