Tow strikes Illinois railroad bridge; 25 barges break loose

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(THEBES, Ill.) — The Coast Guard has closed a portion of the upper Mississippi River, Wednesday, after an uninspected towing vessel allided with a railroad bridge.
Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report at 10:04 p.m., that the uninspected towing vessel, Jay Luhr, allided with the Thebes Railroad Bridge, causing the vessel’s tow of 25 loaded rock barges to break loose. Twenty-four barges have been accounted for and one remains in the waterway.
The Mississippi River will remain closed from mile marker 43, near Thebes, to mile marker 0, near Cairo until all the barges have been recovered.
An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued.
There are no reported injuries or pollution.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.
By Professional Mariner Staff