Barges break loose, hit bridge on Miss. River
This frame grab provided by WLBT-TV during a news television station helicopter flight over the Mississippi River bridge at Interstate-20 in Vicksburg, Miss., shows one of the runaway barges that hit the bridge Wednesday afternoon, March 23, 2011. The bridge was shut down for several hours Wednesday after an estimated 8 loaded barges broke loose from a southbound tow on the flood-swollen Mississippi River. Some of the barges are believed to have hit the old Interstate-20 bridge pillars but none sank officials reported. The barges are expected to be secured by early evening. (AP Photo/WLBT-TV)
VICKSBURG — A major highway linking Mississippi to Louisiana was shut down for a time after several loaded barges broke that broke loose from a tow struck bridges over the flood-swollen Mississippi River.
Vicksburg Deputy Police Chief Mitchell Dent says possibly as many as eight barges broke loose at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and at least one hit the old bridge that crosses the river.
One barge drifted and became wedged against a pillar of the new Interstate 20 bridge. Dent says that barge has been removed and the others have been secured. Dent says none of the barges sank. No injuries were reported.
A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Transportation says Louisiana officials later inspected the bridge, found no damage and reopened it to traffic.