Four barges sink after hitting Miss. River bridge - - Jackson, MS


Four barges sink after hitting Miss. River bridge

Source: Paul Ingram Source: Paul Ingram
source: WLBT source: WLBT
Source: MDOT Source: MDOT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Four barges have sunk after striking the old Mississippi River bridge at Vicksburg.

It happened at around 8:30 on Tuesday morning. A tug boat pushing 22 barges, and heading south on the river, hit a support on the Old Highway 80 bridge. 

John Elfer, the Emergency Operations Center director for Warren County, says four of those barges sank and some other barges are partially sunk near the Lady Luck Casino. 

Ergon Energy dispatched six harbor tug boats to the scene and were able to corral several of the barges that were carrying grain and coal.  

Warren county Sheriff Martin Pace said,  "Even the most experienced operators have trouble with the river when it's this high, there's a tremendous current downstream.  Were located right as you come out of the curve, your dealing with two bridges, it's just a problem for them."

All crew members have been accounted for and no one was injured. 

Elfer says that the barges are owned by American Commercial Barge Line. 

"Does not appear that the I-20 bridge was even struck.  It appears the impact at the old us 80 bridge as you know, is not open to vehicular traffic, it's used as a rail bridge," said Sheriff Pace.

The accident is under investigation by the Coast Guard. 

The river is above flood stage right now, and the current is a lot more swift than usual, making it more difficult for barge operators to navigate the water.

The river is expected to crest on Friday.

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