Barge mishap shuts segment of Upper Mississippi River

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2011 2:12 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard said it halted navigation on the upper Mississippi River on a 43-mile stretch near the southern tip of Illinois after a barge tow struck a bridge late Wednesday.

The vessel, the Jay Luhr, had 25 rock barges in tow when it struck a rail bridge at Thebes at approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

All the barges broke loose and one sank.

The Coast Guard closed the river late Wednesday between mile marker 43 at Thebes and mile 0 at Cairo, Illinois.

As of midday Thursday, two southbound vessels were waiting to pass through the area.

(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by John Picinich)