Towboat sinks in river in Iowa, releasing oil

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) — The Coast Guard says a towboat sank in the Mississippi River near the Quad Cities-area community of LeClaire, releasing oil into the water.

The Stephen L. Colby struck a submerged object Monday afternoon, which caused the vessel to sink. The Coast Guard says the nine members aboard the towboat made it to safety.

About 100,000 gallons of petroleum products are reportedly on board the sunken towboat operated by Marquette Transportation Co. A representative of the Paducah, Ky.-based company declined comment Monday night.

Capt. Byron Black of the Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River says the agency is assessing the situation along with the Environmental Protection Agency and local emergency crews.

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

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