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Oil spill in New York Harbor

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Crews are working to contain as many as 59,000 gallons of oil that spilled into an area off northern Staten Island near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Tuesday.

The oil spill happened when the Brussel, an oil freighter, reported a pipe rupture during an oil loading operation around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday. The freighter had been receiving oil from the Newark Bay barge.

Both vessels remain in New York Harbor where a containment curtain stretching several hundred feet has been set up around the vessels to contain the slick.

Oil has been sighted on an area of the Coney Island shore called Nortons Point, said Coast Guard spokesman Jim McGranachan.

Land crews from the U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Protection office and the state Department of Conservation responded to the spill, McGranachan said.

The Coast Guard has classified the spill as "medium," meaning more than 10,000 gallons spilled but fewer than 100,000.

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