Barge strikes bridge in Oklahoma days after Baltimore tragedy, highway shut down - Hindustan Times
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Barge strikes bridge in Oklahoma days after Baltimore tragedy, highway shut down

BySumanti Sen
Mar 31, 2024 01:18 PM IST

A barge reportedly struck a bridge over the Arkansas River, closing a highway south of Sallisaw, the Oklahoma State Patrol has said

A barge reportedly struck a bridge over the Arkansas River, closing a highway south of Sallisaw, the Oklahoma State Patrol has said. South US Highway 59 was closed by troopers after they learned about the incident. Traffic was also diverted from the area, state patrol spokesperson Sarah Stewart said, according to New York Post.

A barge struck a bridge in Oklahoma days after the Baltimore tragedy (Pixabay - representational image)
A barge struck a bridge in Oklahoma days after the Baltimore tragedy (Pixabay - representational image)

The bridge crosses the Arkansas River and then enters the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir. It will remain closed until it is inspected. Stewart confirmed that there were no reports of injuries on the barge, or the highway. It is unclear how the barge hit the bridge.

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The Baltimore bridge tragedy

This comes in the aftermath of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge tragedy. Federal investigators have now recovered the black box of the ship.

The container ship, named Dali, struck the bridge on the morning of March 26 after losing power. Visuals of the horrific collapse went viral on social media.

Six people died as a result of the tragedy. They were all members of a construction crew who were working to refill potholes on the bridge when it collapsed. Shortly after, authorities recovered two bodies in a pickup truck, which was found submerged in the Patapsco River.

After the incident, investigators on the scene said they witnessed the “utter devastation” of the collapsed bridge. Pieces of the bridge were found draped over the vessel’s bow.

National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homendy said, according to CNN, “When I look at something like that, I am thinking not about the container ships that are coming through, not about traffic getting back up and running on the bridge. I’m thinking about the families who’ve lost loved ones.”

Homendy also said that it could take several months for investigators to gather all the physical evidence, maintenance records, ship data, as well as witness interviews so a full report on the tragedy can be delivered.

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