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Barge hits bridge in Oklahoma just days after Baltimore tragedy

Oklahoma highway temporarily shut after barge hits bridge (AP)
Oklahoma highway temporarily shut after barge hits bridge (AP)

A highway in Oklahoma was temporarily shut on Saturday after a barge struck a bridge over the Arkansas River, just days after the tragic collision in Maryland.

State patrol troopers closed US Highway 59 about 1:25 pm after receiving word of the incident and diverted traffic from the area, spokesperson Sarah Stewart said.

The bridge, which crosses the Arkansas River where it enters the Robert S Kerr Reservoir, was later inspected and the highway reopened to traffic around 4 pm.

“Engineers inspected the structure and found it safe to reopen,” the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said in an email.

There were no reports of injuries on the highway or the barge, and the cause of the collision remains unknown.

The incident came as engineers in Baltimore began the lengthy process of removing parts of the Francis Scott Key bridge from the Patapsco River.

There were no reports of injuries on the highway or the barge, and the cause of the collision remains unknown (AP)
There were no reports of injuries on the highway or the barge, and the cause of the collision remains unknown (AP)

Four construction workers remain missing, presumed dead, after the Dali cargo ship smashed into the bridge in the early hours of Tuesday.

Recovery and salvage operations are underway, though search missions for the remaining bodies were paused due to treacherous conditions.

Over the past several days, enormous cranes have arrived in Baltimore to help clear the wreckage, which officials say is an essential step before recovery efforts to find the missing construction workers and re-open the port.

One of the cranes, the Chesapeake 1000, is capable of lifting 1,000 tonnes — but the bridge is estimated to weigh around three or four times that, so it will need to be cut into sections,

On Saturday, Maryland Governor Wes Moore said search operations for the bodies of the missing workers would resume as soon as conditions improved.