Coast Guard closes portion of Mississippi River

America's Heartland Coast Guard NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard closed a portion of the Mississippi River, Friday, after a chemical plant caught fire near Belle Chasse.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 74 to mile marker 78 to all vessels.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 2:48 p.m. that the Sun Drilling facility caught fire reportedly from a lightning strike. A storage tank at the plant containing divinylbenzene reportedly caught fire.

A Coast Guard Station New Orleans 45-foot Response Boat — Medium and crew are on scene assisting with monitoring vessel traffic at mile marker 78.

“We closed the river as a precautionary measure to protect mariners,” said Cmdr. Russ Bowen, chief of response for Sector New Orleans.

The Plaquemines Parish Fire Department extinguished the fire and air-quality monitoring operations are on-going.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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