Oil cleanup resuming at leaking Miss. River barge

January 31, 2013 - 3:31 AM
Oil Barges Hit Bridge

The towboat Harold B. Dodd pilots south on the Mississippi River as vehicles cross the Interstate 20 bridge in Vicksburg, Miss., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. Commercial traffic for southbound vessels on the Mississippi River resumed Wednesday after closing Sunday. (AP Photo/Vicksburg Post, Eli Baylis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Vessels are moving cautiously through a section of the Mississippi River where a barge is leaking oil as the Coast Guard tries to ease the economic impact of shutting down one of the nation's vital commerce routes.

Chief Petty Officer Paul Roszkowski says officials are allowing northbound vessels to move through the area from sunset to sunrise and southbound vessels to continue their journeys in daylight hours.

Crews on Wednesday began pumping oil from the leaking barge onto another barge but Roszkowski said the transfer operation was halted at night because it's safer and easier to see if any oil is escaping during the day. Workers were to begin again Thursday morning.

Officials have not given estimates of how much oil has leaked from the barge, which struck a railroad bridge early Sunday.