9 barges break free at Lock & Dam 21; quickly recovered

KHQA photo

Thursday afternoon at 3:24 p.m., a tow boat moving a configuration of 15 barges southbound on the Mississippi River was heading towards Lock & Dam 21.

Petty Officer Wilkinson with the U. S. Coast Guard says the tow boat hit some high water, sucking the boat up along the bank. That sudden movement broke nine of the barges free from the configuration.

Three helper boats stationed at the lock and dam quickly moved in to help and stopped, what could have been, a very serious situation from escalating.

Wilkinson says there is, "no damage, no pollution and no injuries," from the incident. At no time was river traffic impeded.

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