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Barges break free from tow at the Mississippi River Bridge



Hwy 80 bridge

At 1:17 a.m., a towboat lost control of its barges while passing under the Mississippi River Bridge in Vicksburg on Wednesday.

Vicksburg Bridge Commission Superintendent Herman Smith reports that a towboat lost eight barges after passing through the Highway 80 River Bridge. The event started at 1:17 a.m. and the barges broke free at 1:22 a.m.

The Marie Henderick, a twin screw, 8,000 hp tow operated by Marquette Transportation out of Paducah, Kentucky, was pushing 28 barges.

“He was northbound between piers 4 and 5,” explained Bridge Superintendent Herman Smith. “It looks like the current caught the head of the tow and pushed it towards the Mississippi [river bank].”

The load was 7 long and 4 wide and it looked like all 28 barges were loaded, “probably with grain,” according to Smith. Once the current caught the barges they hit the bank by Ameristar. The front two rows of four barges broke loose, eight barges in total, according to Smith.

The barges didn’t hit any part of the bridge and were quickly recovered south of  I-20 by Ergon.



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