Hundreds of gallons of petroleum spilled in Mississippi River

The U.S. Coast Guard estimated there were approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products on a tug boat that sank in the Mississippi River.

Water with a red tint washed upon the shores of Le Claire Tuesday afternoon.  The red water indicates diesel fuel that was spilled from the vessel.

Lieutenant Colin Fogerty of the U.S. Coast Guard said crews were working to absorb the petroleum from the river.

“The first thing we are doing is setting booms, which are large amounts of plastic that block off the oil and absorb it,” said Fogerty.

The booms appear white when first dropped in the water but, after they absorb the spilled diesel fuel, they turn red.

Once the booms are red, crews take them out of the water and set up new booms to absorb more petroleum.

Crews have already collected hundreds of gallons of petroleum.

“Right now, we are looking at approximately 700 to 900 gallons (of fuel) that was spilled into the water,” Fogerty said.

Although the U.S. Coast Guard says much of that oil has been contained, it has raised some questions on whether drinking water will be contaminated.

Water from the Mississippi River is the direct water supply for many people in the Quad Cities area.

The U.S. Coast guard has committed to work nonstop to ensure the leak is resolved, contained and cleaned from the river.

Get more photos and coverage of this story – click here.

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