The lower Mississippi River was partly shut to ship traffic as cleanup crews skimmed oily water Monday, a day after a barge with more than 80,000 gallons of oil struck a railroad bridge near Vicksburg, Miss., spreading a sheen of light crude.
Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers officials said they didn't know how much oil leaked.
The spill backed up at least 24 tugboats, barges and other vessels on the normally bustling corridor, said Kavanaugh Breazeale, a spokesman for the Corps of Engineers. The river was closed to traffic for 16 miles -- eight miles north and eight miles south of Vicksburg.
Breazeale said the damaged barge had eight tanks and each tank could hold 80,000 gallons of oil. He said the investigation had shown that one tank was pierced above the water line.
"It's not leaking that much oil," Breazeale said, though the exact amount was not known.