Ammonia release kills fish at Port of Catoosa

CATOOSA, Okla. (AP) -- Officials at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa say an accidental release of ammonia vapors has killed some fish but that no humans or other wildlife have been harmed.

Port officials say the release came as workers on a towboat loading the common fertilizer chemical onto a barge dropped a hose into the water. They say ammonia vapor will dissipate rapidly in water but it's harmful to fish in the vicinity of the spill, because it depletes oxygen from the water.

Boats have been aerating the water surrounding the spill in order to increase oxygen levels.

Memphis, Tenn.-based Southern Towing is the operator of the barge and towboat. Southern Towing President Bill Stegbauer says his workers are removing the dead fish and developing new rules to try and avoid future accidents.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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