Cargo ship strikes Kentucky bridge, bridge collapses

Posted: 01/28/2012 in all marine news

Mike Schuler – 

A bridge in western Kentucky has partially collapsed after being struck by a cargo ship Thursday night.

According to officials, two spans of the U.S. 68/KY 80 bridge over Kentucky Lake collapsed across the bow of the M/V Delta Mariner after the vessel struck the bridge at approximately 8:10pm Thursday. Authorities have said that there have been no reported injuries and they do not believe any vehicles fell from the bridge.

U.S. Coast Guard added that the M/V Delta Mariner was not carrying any hazardous cargo.

The 312-foot long and 8,000 horsepower M/V Delta Mariner, owned and operated by Foss Maritime, is used to carry Boeing rocket components, including rocket booster cores, for the Boeing Delta IV rocket program.

The versatile vessel is designed to navigate shallow inland waterways as well as the open ocean, and generally hauls rocket components approximately 550 miles from the Boeing factory in Decatur, Alabama down the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway to the Gulf of Mexico, according to Foss’ website.

State officials say that the bridge, formally the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, was designed so that if it were struck that only portions of the structure would fail.

Inspectors estimate the gap in the bridge to be approximately 300 feet wide.

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