Lt. Ryan Gomez is with the U.S. Coast Guard Memphis office. He said the collision happened about 1:12 a.m. Sunday and after it happened the barges were moved over to the Louyisiana side.
"We don't have the exact amount of product that has leaked out," he said. The tank that was ruptured contained about 80,000 gallons of light crude oil."
He said an absorbant boom was placed around the vessel to contain the oil. A sheen could be seen at least three miles downriver.
"The vessels themselves have a small amount of absorbant boom," he said.
The collision had the river closed to traffic for eight miles in either direction, which is almost certain to have a negative economic impact.
The damage to the bridge was not enough to close it and traffic on both river crossings is flowing as normal.
"The company has a third party team that comes in the event of a pollution case and they're in charge of the response and clean-up. They come up with a plan," said Gomez.
The tug that pushed the barges was manufactured in 1974 and is operated by Nature's Way Marine of Theodore, Ala.
Lt. Ryan Gomez