Tugboat hits railroad bridge in Simmesport

Five barges break loose

A tugboat struck the railroad bridge over the Atchafalaya River in Simmesport earlier today (Nov. 8), reportedly damaging the vessel and allow five barges to break loose. Several local and state agencies responded to the incident, Simmesport Police Chief Damion Jacobs said. There have been no reports of injuries.

Jacobs said five barges being pushed by the tugboat broke loose after the tug hit the train trestle.

"One was contained fairly quickly while the other are still loose," Jacobs said at about 4:45 p.m.

Avoyelles Emergency Preparedness Director Joey Frank said at 4:55 p.m. that authorities "are in the process of retrieving the last barges. The tug did not sink. It is upright and everyone is safe."

After the accident, traffic controls were put in place on the La. Hwy 1 bridge.

"It is slow, but it is open," Jacobs said.

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