Cement Barge Collides With Casino Boat

Monday, July 31, 2000
Fears of casino boats potentially colliding with real working vessels on busy waterways was a core tenant of the drive to keep the vessels permanently moored at dock. Those fears became reality on Monday, but thankfully without disastrous results. A casino boat en route to its Indiana port and a barge carrying cement collided on the Mississippi River, causing extensive damage to the gambling boat, the Coast Guard said, but only slightly injuring one onboard the gambling boat. The northbound "Miss Belterra," owned by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., limped to the shoreline near Caruthersville, Mo., where it was grounded safely. The 313-foot (95-,m) Miss Belterra was bound for Vevay, Ind., where it was to be the centerpiece of Pinnacle Entertainment's Belterra Casino Resort on the Ohio River, 35 miles southwest of Cincinnati. The gambling boat -- built to accommodate 3,000 people, 1,350 slot machines and 57 gaming tables on two decks -- suffered "extensive damage and flooding," the Coast Guard said. The barge tow, which included the cement-laden barge in front, was being pushed southbound by the tug "Elizabeth Ann," which suffered damage to its bow rig in the collision.

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