Barges break loose, hit Mississippi River bridge in Hannibal

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 | 8:21 a.m. CDT

HANNIBAL — Authorities in Hannibal say the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River appears sound after being struck by runaway barges.

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports that an American Commercial Lines tugboat with 12 barges struck the center span of a railroad bridge Monday afternoon. The barges then broke loose and some struck the bridge that carries U.S. 72 traffic over the river.

It wasn't immediately clear what the barges were carrying.

The runaway barges threatened to strike an excursion riverboat in Hannibal, but the operator was able to dodge them.

Hannibal emergency management director John Hark says state inspectors found no significant damage to the U.S. 72 bridge.

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