Cleanup Of Fuel Leaking From Sunken Towboat Continues

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By Rachel Begle

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) - Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations are gathering in the eastern Iowa city of Le Claire to determine what a towboat struck in the Mississippi River that made it sink.

The boat, carrying 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel and oil, continues to leak Tuesday, a day after the accident.

Coast Guard spokesman Colin Fogerty says about 3,000 feet of absorbent booms are in the river, soaking up hundreds of gallons of fuel and oil.

The boat, the Stephen L. Colby, is owned by Paducah, Ky.-based Marquette Transportation Co. A company spokeswoman refuses to comment on the sinking.

The boat sits in about 14 feet of water.

The river is closed at LeClaire and three towboats with 40 barges are waiting to pass.

The Marquette Transportation website says the vessel was built in 1967 and is 154 feet long and 40 feet wide.

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