Barges breakaway, close Mississippi River

Photo credit USCG

Authorities had to close the Mississippi River after several barges broke loose near I-55 between Illinois and Missouri.

"The Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River, Wednesday," according to a news release.

It happened around 3:00am Wednesday.

"There was a multi-barge breakaway from a fleeting area on the Upper Mississippi River."

Multiple towing vessels that were in the area came to help and worked together secure all the loose barges.

"The Coast Guard initially closed the river for the safety of those on the waterway, however all loose barges have been accounted for and the river has been reopened."

There are no reports of pollution or injuries.

“The Coast Guard works closely with our port partners and local law enforcement to properly manage incidents like this,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kathryn McCormack, the incident commander representing Sector Upper Mississippi River. “Anyone on the water should maintain vigilance while operating on the waterway.”

The cause of this incident remains under investigation.