(Image courtesy of International-Matex Tank Terminals)

Officials in Gretna, Louisiana said the town’s drinking water is safe after two cargo vessels, one loaded with oil, collided and an unknown amount of oil spilled into the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

Gretna police inspected the city’s water intake system immediately after the accident and found that the water supply hand’t been contaminated, the Times Picayune said.

The collision happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday night at the International-Matex Tank Terminals.

Gretna is located in Jefferson Parish, New Orleans.

Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts said there’s “absolutely no concern for water supply as Jefferson Water supply is up river.”

Roberts added that the water intake was closed during the accident.

Late Tuesday night, a tanker carrying grain lost power and steering as it approached the dock and hit a moored oil barge that was being unloaded.

The collision shook the transfer hose free and spilled an unknown amount of oil into the water before the hose could be shut off.

New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board said water intakes were not affected by the accident.

A temporary floating barrier was deployed to contain the oil.

Coast Guard officials said it was too early to determine how much oil was spilled.

There were no injuries reported but both ships were damaged.

The Coast Guard is launching an official investigation into the cause of the collision.


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