Storm sinks barge in RI; fuel sheen apparent

October 31, 2011 - 12:35 PM

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Crews are working to raise a barge containing diesel fuel that sank in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay during the weekend snowstorm.

The 120-foot-long barge contains 2,400 gallons of fuel and state officials say a "minor" sheen is visible on the water.

The barge was operated by a contractor hired to paint the Pell Bridge, which connects Newport and Jamestown. It sank between Saturday evening and noon Sunday.

According to the state Turnpike and Bridget Authority, painting supplies and other hazardous materials were removed from the barge before the storm hit. Four anchors were used to secure the vessel.

The diesel fuel is in three double-walled tanks.

A spokeswoman for the Turnpike and Bridge Authority says the barge should be raised in a few days.