The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PADUCAH, Ky.) — The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to an allision involving the towing vessel Alice I. Hooker and the Cairo Bridge on the Ohio River at mile marker 980.4 near Cairo, Ill., Monday.
Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report from a crewmember aboard the towing vessel at approximately 1:45 p.m., Monday, reporting that the Alice I. Hooker struck the Cairo Bridge while pushing 27 barges. The Coast Guard dispatched a marine inspection and investigation team from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah to the scene to assess damage and determine the cause of the incident.
River traffic was temporarily suspended due to two empty open hopper barges that sank near mile marker 981 at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The river has reopened to vessel traffic.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident and will continue to monitor salvage operations. No pollution or injuries were reported.