Barges hit Vicksburg bridge, 2 may have sunk

Photo Credit: WJTV

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) – The Latest on flooding along the Mississippi River (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

Media are reporting that at least two barges may have sunk in the Mississippi River after a towboat pushing 30 barges struck the old U.S. 80 Bridge.

Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer tells The Vicksburg Post (http://bit.ly/1RJBgqT ) the barges were carrying dry goods, possibly grain and coal. He says the barges struck the bridge at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Elfer says an American Commercial Barge Lines boat was pushing the barges south they hit a bridge support and broke loose. The newspaper reports no one was injured.

Bridge superintendent Herman Smith says the company is working to gather the barges.

The Coast Guard was not able to immediately comment on the accident.

Monday night, another set of barges struck the Helena Highway Bridge farther north on the river. The Coast Guard says two barges were damaged in that incident.

___

10:30 a.m.

HELENA, Ark. (AP) – The Coast Guard says a section of the fast-flowing and swollen Mississippi River was briefly closed after a towboat pushing barges struck a pier of a bridge between Mississippi and Arkansas, causing four barges to break loose.

The Coast Guard says a pier of the Helena Highway Bridge was struck at about 10 p.m. Monday. The Coast Guard says four barges broke away and were secured by about 3:40 a.m.

Officials say two barges containing about 2.4 million gallons of denatured alcohol were damaged and were taking on water Tuesday. The Coast Guard says the barges will be emptied.

Seth Johnson, a Coast Guard spokesman, says the accident has not caused any pollution and there were no reports of injuries. He could not say what caused the accident.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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