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US Coast Guard shuts section of upper Mississippi river

Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Schierberg and Seaman Grant Jansen, both of Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wis., simulate evacuating a victim during a mass rescue operations preparedness exercise at Red River County Park, Jan. 18, 2012.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Schierberg and Seaman Grant Jansen, both of Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wis., simulate evacuating a victim during a mass rescue operations preparedness exercise at Red River County Park, Jan. 18, 2012.

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard has closed a couple of miles of the upper Mississippi river near the confluence with the Missouri river after barges broke loose.

A filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency said loose barges floating adrift in the upper Mississippi river collided with Kirby Inland Marine barges, which were docked at the Marathon Oil Dock.

Coast Guard spokesman Colin Fogarty said the incident occurred around midnight and initial reports suggested there was a discharge of around 300 gallons of crude oil.

(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bangalore; Editing by Alison Birrane)

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