Crude oil barges hit Mississippi River bridge and catch fire

VICKSBURG, Miss. A barge float carrying crude oil hit a railroad bridge over the Mississippi River and caught fire overnight.

A U-S Coast Guard spokesman said there were no injuries and no official reports of crewmen in the water after the accident, which happened at 9 p-m.

Local law enforcement says it is unclear if oil has spilled into the river, but environmental officials from Mississippi and Louisiana were on scene assessing the situation.

Darkness made it difficult to evaluate.

Officials closed both the railroad bridge and the Interstate 20 bridge that crosses the river at the same point.

One of several barges in the float was corralled and never caught fire. But as many as three others were floating downriver out of control and on fire around Letourneau Landing.

It was unclear how large the fires had grown after they left the Vicksburg area. But the blazes were easily visible from shore.

Petty Officer Tom Atkeson of the Coast Guard says an emergency crew was en route from Greenville, Miss., late tonight.

A security zone was set up between mile markers 444 and 422 on the river.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.