River closure follows towboat sinking

News videos show superstructure  of towboat remains above water News videos show superstructure of towboat remains above water

NOVEMBER 26, 2012 — The Coast Guard says the Captain of the Port closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 493 to mile maker 501 on the upper Mississippi River yesterday to allow for safe, effective cleanup and salvage operations after Marquette Transportation Co.'s 144 ft towboat sank after striking a submerged after striking a submerged object near LeClaire, Iowa.

The Coast Guard, EPA and local emergency crews responded after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report of the incident at approximately 4:30 p.m.

At the time of the sinking, nine crew members were aboard and all were able to make it to safety.

Approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products are reported to be on board the vessel.

"The Coast Guard and our partner agencies are rapidly assessing and responding to the evolving situation" said Capt. Byron Black, commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River, "Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of people, the environment and the waterway. We have personnel on scene actively responding to the incident."

The cause of the incident is under investigation.