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UPDATE 1-Mississippi River closed in Iowa after barge hits bridge
April 8, 2014 / 10:15 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mississippi River closed in Iowa after barge hits bridge

(Adds details on river closure, bridge ownership, quote from Coast Guard, byline)

By Michael Hirtzer

April 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday closed the Mississippi River at Sabula, Iowa, after a barge struck a railroad bridge, said Eric Washburn, bridge administrator for the agency’s Eighth District Western Rivers Bridge Branch.

The river was closed one mile (1.6 km) north and one mile south of the site of the accident as of about 3 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT), Washburn said. The barge was stuck in an open position. The contents of the barge were unknown as investigators traveled to the site, he said.

“The investigators will have to inspect the bridge and make a determination if it needs repairs,” added Tim Marriott, enforcement chief for the Coast Guard’s upper Mississippi River sector.

The rail bridge is owned by Union Pacific Corp, Marriott said. A spokesman for the railroad company did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Mississippi River is the busiest U.S. waterway and the main route to ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; editing by Andrew Hay

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