Mississippi bridge struck by barges for fourth time in just over a week

A towing vessel and six barges ran into the Vicksburg Railroad Bridge in Vicksburg, Mississippi, making it four such instances in eight days.

Last week there were three consecutive days on which towboats or barges came into unintentional contact with the bridge. Those occasions were all attributed, at least partly, to high water levels and fast currents that followed storms and flooding in the US Midwest. The water level remains six feet higher than usual.

In the latest case six barges broke free from the towboat Wally Roller before striking the bridge. In the aftermath the six barges were secured and accounted for, according to the US Coast Guard. The bridge was closed to traffic while the Vicksburg Bridge Commission and the State of Mississippi conducted a safety inspection.

Traffic on the river was not interrupted, however.

No injuries and no pollution were reported from the incident either.

As with the three previous incidents, the cause of this one will be investigated by the USCG.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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