Collision on Elbe River in Germany Causes Spill

Two vessels collide on Elbe River in northern Germany causing a fuel spill. Initial reports said approximately 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel has leaked into river, causing a huge slick. River traffic has been halted.

A barge carrying diesel fuel collided with another vessel in Germany on Wednesday. The incident caused a 10-kilometre-long oil slick on the Elbe river, which empties into the North Sea. Authorities have said that it might be the worst shipping accident near the city of Hamburg in recent memory.

Reportedly, the anchor of one vessel tore open four tanks of the 82-metre tanker barge Undine. The vessels scraped one another along their starboard rails while passing on the busy waterway.

No injuries were reported. Booms were being used to contain what authorities estimate to be as much as 100,000 barrels of fuel. In an effort to limit the damage, the barge unloaded the rest of the 920 tons of diesel it had been carrying.

First responders have hundreds at the site working to control the spill. But, it is too early to know the impact of the environmental damage. Investigators are looking into what caused the ships to collide. Meanwhile, river traffic has been halted.

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