One dead, two missing after tugboat hits barge at New York bridge

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 12, 2016 1:51 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A tugboat crew member died and two others were missing on Saturday after the vessel collided with a barge and sank in the Hudson River under the Tappan Zee Bridge north of New York City, authorities and local media said.

The pre-dawn accident involved a 90-foot tug with three people on board that struck a construction barge moored under the bridge, said the U.S. Coast Guard, one of the agencies involved in the search for the two missing crew.

Police said one of the tug's crew members died after being pulled from the water by a first responder and brought to shore, according the media reports.

Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, said she could only confirm that one person had been pulled from the water, but not the death.

Barges are moored near the bridge as part of the construction of a new span connecting New York's Rockland and Westchester counties.

A representative of the Westchester County Police, the lead agency in the search, could not be immediately reached for further comment.

It was not the first fatal accident since the massive bridge project began.

In July 2013, a speedboat carrying six members of a wedding party smashed into a barge anchored below the span, a major transportation link in the city's northern suburbs. Two people were killed, including the bride-to-be and the best man.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Richard Chang)