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31 Mar, 2024 02:17

Another US bridge hit by a vessel (VIDEO)

A cargo vessel damaged the supports of a bridge over the Arkansas River less than a week after a deadly incident in Baltimore
Another US bridge hit by a vessel (VIDEO)

The Oklahoma State Patrol has completely closed a highway after a barge struck the US-59 Bridge over the Arkansas River on Saturday.

Law enforcement is diverting traffic away from the area, to the south of Sallisaw, until inspections of the structure can be made, the state highway service wrote on X (formerly Twitter). There were no reports of injuries on the road or the barge, AP news agency quoted patrol spokesperson Sarah Stewart as saying. 

It was not immediately known what led to the collision. Video circulating on X shows the moment the barge impacted the bridge supports.

The incident comes less than a week after the cargo hauler MV Dali struck and completely collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, killing six people. The freighter struck a support of the 1.6-mile (2.6 km) long structure in the early hours of Tuesday, causing it to topple into the river, taking vehicles and people with it.

Operations to clear the bridge rubble weighing down the MV Dali are currently ongoing. While the cargo hauler and bridge rubble are blocking the way, the port city of Baltimore is unable to resume marine traffic, a key industry for the area. Crews have been working to cut up portions of the metal bridge, with the first section being lifted on Saturday.

By some estimates, the repair bill could end up running upward of $1 billion if a whole new bridge needs to be erected, the Washington Post wrote on Thursday.

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