Two barges were lodged under the turntable of the Louisiana railroad bridge across the Mississippi River at Louisiana after breaking free from a tow about 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 22.
U.S. Coast Guard St. Louis office spokesman Petty Officer Berry said no one was injured in the mishap and no pollution occurred as the Press-Journal went to press.
Berry said the barges broke free from a string of 15, with three making it through the span. Two others were lodged under the bridge turntable and “the rest are blocking the channel,” he said.
The barges were being towed by the Golden Eagle towboat of the Marquette Transportation line from Paducah, Ken.
No comment was available from the firm or the Kansas City Southern Line railroad which operates the historic bridge, which turns to allow barge traffic through.
Barges from Marquette were on the way to dislodge the errant barges, open the channel and get the turntable moving again, Berry said.
“The channel is closed for at least six hours,” Berry said at 10:30 a.m. When the span reopens depends on Coast Guard investigators at the scene.
Those investigators will determine if the Mississippi’s high level contributed to the mishap, Berry said.
The barges were perpendicularly strung out across the bridge, blocking the eastern opening.