Iowa..barge loaded with coal broke loose hit span

BURLINGTON, Iowa — The main bridge over the Mississippi River between Burlington, Iowa, and Gulfport, Illinois, is closed after a barge loaded with coal broke lose and hit the span.
<P>Burlington Police Lt. Jeff Klein says three barges broke free of their moorings just north of the bridge about 12:40 a.m. One of the barges hit a piling near the center of the bridge. A second barge then hit the first barge. All three barges floated under the bridge. </P>
<P>Klein says a local barge company has secured the barges. But he says officials don’t know who owns them. </P>
<P>The bridge is closed until it can be inspected. </P>
<P>The nearest bridge over the Mississippi River is 17 miles south. It runs between Fort Madison, Iowa and Niota, Ill. </P>