Runaway barges sink after hitting Arkansas River dam

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(WEBBERS FALLS, Okla.) — Two barges that broke free on the Arkansas River struck the dam near Webbers Falls on Thursday and sank, KFOR-TV reported.

Officials said the barges, which were reportedly loaded with fertilizer, became unsecured in flood conditions Wednesday night. The barges drifted and became stuck on a rock jetty upriver from Webbers Falls Lock and Dam 16, but then broke loose again just before noon Thursday.

Both barges struck the dam, which caused one of the barges to immediately sink. The force of the water caused the second barge to give way and sink as well.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for Webbers Falls as engineers assessed the situation.

Click here to read the story and view a video of the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff