Oil spill in Schuylkill River

July 29, 2008 10:10:11 AM PDT
Coast Guard officials say just how the tug boats sank is a mystery, but there's a full scale investigation underway to find out what happened. There's also a major clean up underway. The Carol Wales and another unidentified tugboat sank alongside a pier at the edge of the Schuylkill River near the Girard Point Bridge. The discovery was made after someone reported a strong smell of fuel coming from the river.

Petty Officer Crystalynn Kneen of the U.S. Coast Guard says, "The oil spill has been contained. Safety zones have been set and the Coast Guard urges all mariners to proceed with caution when transiting the area."

By the time the spill was contained, patches of the oily like residue could be seen in various parts of the Schuylkill, raising concerns about potential threats to wildlife. Officials say a contractor has been hired to clean up the mess.

"The Coast Guard is working with local and state agencies and a contractor to clean up the spill quickly and safely," Kneen says, "and there's been no impact on wildlife."

It has not been determined who owns the tugs that sank and whether violent weather over the weekend may have contributed to their demise.

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