Coast Guard response to breakaway barges near Plaquemines Parish continues
NEW ORLEANS - The Coast Guard is still responding to a barge breakaway involving 22 vessels that happened on the Mississippi River near West Pointe à la Hache Wednesday.
The river remains closed between mile markers 50 and 53 with the Guard overseeing operations to assess the location of the last barge to determine if it is a hazard to navigation.
The Coast Guard says there is a vessel queue of 21 southbound and 18 northbound.
Three deep-draft motor vessels sustained damage after barges that broke away crashed into them. An unspecified amount of bulk soy beans in transit on one of the vessels were dumped into the river as a result of one of the collisions, but the Coast Guard says that release has since been secured. The deep-draft vessels are safely anchored.
The Coast Guard said all 22 barges were loaded with coal and petroleum coke. They’ve all been accounted for and secured except for one that is pushed up against the left descending bank.
The incident remains under investigation.