River traffic limited after 2 barges sink in Miss. River near Thebes, IL

UPDATE: 2 barges sink in Miss. River after towboat hits bridge near Thebes, IL

THEBES, IL (KFVS) - River traffic is limited in the Mississippi River near Thebes, Illinois after two barges sunk.

According to the Coast Guard, the captain of the Port Ohio Valley is allowing towing vessels, with reduced tow sizes, to transit the safety zone during daylight hours via one-way traffic, after they coordinate the transit with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah at 270-994-7383.

The Coast Guard said a safety zone will remain in place from mile marker 44 to mile marker 40 until the sunken barges are salvaged.

Junction buoys were deployed near the sunken barge in the middle of the channel at mile marker 42. The second sunken barge is resting against the Thebes Railroad Bridge.

Salvage operations for the two sunken barges are planned for Saturday, April 9.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

According to the Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley, the boat that was pushing the barges struck a bridge on Wednesday, April 6.

Watchstanders received a call after the tow vessel Michael G. Morris collided (a term for when a boat or craft collides with a stationary object) with the Thebes Railroad Bridge at about 5 a.m.

The collision caused all 30 barges loaded with grain to breakaway.

The owner of the Thebes Railroad Bridge had the bridge inspected and reopened the bridge to all traffic.

No one was injured in the incident, and no other property was reported damaged aside from the sunken barge.

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