Barge Collision with Bridge Stops Highway Traffic

A significant incident occurred over the weekend when a barge struck a bridge spanning the Arkansas River in Oklahoma, leading to the temporary shutdown of a key highway, as reported by the state's highway patrol.

The collision with the bridge, situated close to the Kerr Lock & Dam, happened on Saturday afternoon, prompting authorities to shut down South U.S. Highway 59 by 1:25 p.m. Traffic was rerouted away from the vicinity, detailed by Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesperson Sarah Stewart.

Fortunately, there were no injuries reported either on the highway or aboard the barge involved in the incident. The cause of the collision remains unclear at this time.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation announced on X that the highway was reopened following a thorough inspection by engineers, ensuring the bridge's safety for public use.

This event unfolded just shortly after a tragic accident involving a container ship that struck and significantly damaged Baltimore’s Key Bridge, resulting in six fatalities.

The operators of the Dali cargo ship broadcasted a distress signal shortly before the catastrophic event in the early hours of Tuesday.

At the time of the collision, eight construction workers were engaged in maintenance work on the bridge. Following the incident, two bodies were recovered on Wednesday, while four workers are presumed to be entangled within the collapsed structure, anticipated to be retrieved during the dismantlement process.

Investigations into the disaster are ongoing, with preliminary speculations pointing towards a potential mechanical malfunction, supported by video evidence showing intermittent issues with the ship's lighting system.

The vessel was transporting over 4,600 cargo containers, including 56 that were designated as carrying hazardous materials.

At a press conference held on Wednesday, NTSB Chief Jennifer Homendy provided an update, confirming the safety of all 23 crew members and two additional pilots who were on board specifically to navigate the ship out of port safely.

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