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Mississippi River Reopens After Oil Spill Near New Orleans

A 25-mile stretch of the Mississippi near New Orleans reopened with restrictions Monday, two days after two vessels collided and caused an oil spill that shut it down, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

As of 1:30 p.m. local time, the waterway was completely reopened with a few restrictions on mariners to decrease the chance they will spread crude oil along the river, according to the Coast Guard.

On Saturday, the Lindsay Ann Erickson crashed with the Hannah C. Settoon, which was pushing two barges carrying barrels of light crude oil that spilled into the river, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough told NBC News

The Coast Guard estimated that 31,500 gallons of light crude oil escaped into the river, originally forcing officials to shut down 65 miles of the river. The source of the spill was secured early Sunday, according to the Coast Guard.

The vessel crash happened in foggy conditions, about 30 miles west of New Orleans, according to NBC affiliate, WDSU.

earlier On Monday, cleanup and shoreline assessments had kept the oil-glazed area closed, Colclough said. A helicopter was to monitor the situation later in the day, and the Toxicology Department was monitoring the air for pollution threats, the Coast Guard said.

No injuries were reported, the local water supply remained safe and there were no reports of oiled wildlife, the Coast Guard said.

“Our highest priorities in this response are the safety of the public and responders, and protection of the environment,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Rebecca Ore.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

— Elisha Fieldstadt