22 April 2013 20:46 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Coast Guard (USCG) opened the Mississippi River to southbound traffic on Monday after a barge accident near Vicksburg on Sunday closed the waterway.
A USCG press release said 17 northbound vessels were waiting to move and 12 southbound vessels were in line.
The northbound vessels will begin moving once the southbound traffic is cleared, the release said.
The USCG set up a safety zone on the river from mile marker 436 to mile marker 415 following an accident on Sunday that involved barges breaking away after a bridge was hit.
The accident occurred late Sunday morning when the USCG received a call that 30 barges carrying coal and grain had broken free of their moorings after the lead barge struck the Vicksburg Railroad Bridge.
All of the barges have been accounted for, according to the USCG. One barge sank just south of the Interstate 20 bridge piling parallel to the channel. Another barge ran aground on a dike, and one barge partially submerged on the river bank.
Movement within the safety zone requires authorization. Concerned mariners may contact Sector Lower Mississippi River at 901-521-4824 or the Coast Guard on VHF-FM channel 16.
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