Barges backed up north and south of Vicksburg - - Jackson, MS

Barges testing closed section of MS River

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The Coast Guard is allowing southbound vessels to pass through a closed section of the Mississippi River in Vicksburg Wednesday to test how they will affect efforts to remove oil from a leaking barge.

Chief Petty Officer Paul Roszkowski tells The Associated Press a 16-mile stretch of the river remains closed four days after two barges struck a railroad bridge.

Roszkowski says southbound barges are being allowed to pass so crews can monitor the effects on cleanup operations. The Coast Guard could permit test runs with northbound barges on Wednesday afternoon.

The Guard said 7,000 gallons of crude oil were unaccounted for, but some could have seeped inside the barge.

About 50 barge tows were waiting to pass through the closed section in both directions near Vicksburg Tuesday.

The oil barge hit a railroad bridge about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.

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