The U.S. Coast Guard has shut down a section of the Mississippi River south of Paducah, Kentucky after two tow boats collided, causing an oil spill of unknown size.
In a statement, the Coast Guard said that the collision occurred Wednesday evening at 8:22 p.m. at Mile Marker 937, just north of Columbus, Kentucky.
â€œThe collision caused damage to at least one barge containing clarified slurry oil, rupturing the cargo tank and discharging an unknown amount of oil into the Mississippi River,â€ the statement said.
The barge has the capacity to carry just over 1 million gallons of the clarified slurry, according to the Coast Guard said, which says it is working to determine how much of the oil had been discharged.
The statement says that with the exception of vessels authorized to be working on the incident, river traffic has been halted between Mile Marker 938 and Mile Marker 922, south of Hickman.