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114 barges break free near St. Louis

April 21, 2013

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County bridge over the flooded Mississippi River is apparently undamaged after being struck by a handful of runaway barges.

The U.S. Coast Guard says 114 barges broke free Saturday night from where they were docked in south St. Louis County. Four struck the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the bridge for inspection at 2 a.m. Sunday, but reopened it six hours later after no structural damage was found.

The Coast Guard says at least 10 of the barges sank. Most of the rest were corralled with the help of tow operators in the region. Two were unaccounted for.

The Coast Guard closed a 15-mile stretch of the river over concern about the sunken barges.

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