Barge Hits River Bridge

Monday, January 22, 2007
A barge slammed into the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge Saturday morning, causing its components to break loose and drift off in the Mississippi. Loose barges could be seen floating freely beneath the I-55 bridge in Memphis just before six Saturday morning. A tow boat out of Decatur, Ill., lost its load after crashing into the Union Pacific Railroad bridge. Investigators ruled out the threat of terrorism, but they must now determine how the Inez Andreas lost control of 42 barges in tow. Until they were recovered, a 12 mile stretch of the river was closed to commercial vehicles. The barges were heading towards President's Island carrying salt, aluminum and various fertilizers. Coast Guard officials tell Action News 5's Anna Marie Hartman that none of those ever posed a pollution threat to the river. The investigation is far from over. Coast Guard officials say it could be days before the results of that investigation are available. Even though Coast Guard crews saw no signs of illegal activity, nothing can be ruled out until their investigation is complete. No one was hurt as a result of the accident. Source: WMC-TV

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