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Oil spill shuts part of road area in Mobile

MOBILE (AP) — An oil spill has forced a partial shutdown of Alternate U.S. 90/98 between the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge and the Bankhead Tunnel, with the route open only to trucks carrying hazardous materials.

Tony Harris, spokesman for Alabama Department of Transportation, said the U.S. Coast Guard requested the road be closed Sunday afternoon. It could be closed for about three days, according to Mobile police spokesman Eric Gallichant.

Trucks to stay off bridge

Harris said all non-hazardous trucks and vehicles are being directed to stay off the bridge and to use either the George Wallace Tunnel or Bankhead Tunnel near downtown. Trucks carrying hazardous materials are barred from using the tunnels and will be allowed to use the bridge while crews work on the cleanup.

Heavy rains

The U.S. Coast Guard said a crude oil storage tank leaked about 100 to 300 barrels of oil into a drainage ditch at a containment farm at the Alabama Bulk Terminal on Blakeley Island about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Guard officials said heavy rains Sunday caused the oil to spill over into a drainage ditch, where it was contained.

Drew Altemara, spokesman for the Alabama Bulk Terminal Co., said more will be known about what caused the leak after the remaining 300,000 barrels are removed from the tank that leaked the oil.

Altemara said the remaining oil is being stored on a barge and will be sent to Hunt Refinery in Tuscaloosa. v

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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