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. (PNK)
, 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.