Tuesday, January 19, 2010
A towboat traveling on the Mississippi River struck the I-155 Caruthersville Bridge around 4:45 p.m. between Dyersburg and Caruthersville, Mo. The boat was towing 20 barges filled with grain and the impact caused all of them to become adrift down the river. Petty Officer Sneller of the United States Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River said there were no reported injuries and all of the barges were retrieved after the incident. The barges' cargo did not pose an environmental hazard since they only contained grain. River traffic was shutdown, but was reopened around 6:30 p.m.After the accident, the Tennessee Department of Transportation closed traffic traveling over the bridge while it was inspected for structural damage. The bridge was reopened just after 8:30 p.m. The Tennessee Highway Patrol, Dyersburg Police Department, Dyer County Sheriff's Department, Dyer County Rescue Squad and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency all responded to the situation. Sneller said there would be an investigation by the USCG to determine the cause of the accident. Also, the boat, barges and cargo would be inspected. The capabilities of the crew will also be examined.