Barge strikes MLK Bridge, forces closures -

Barge strikes MLK Bridge, forces closures

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( - A barge struck the MLK Bridge Thursday night, resulting in two bridge closures in downtown St. Louis.

The barge hit a bridge support beam Thursday afternoon.  Barge traffic on the Mississippi River had been shut down for several hours, however, officials said traffic is still closed for recreational boats.

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IDOT and the Illinois State Police closed the MLK Bridge around 5:30 Thursday evening.  St. Louis City Police closed the Eads Bridge shortly after.  Both bridges have since reopened. MetroLink trains are running on time.

Witnesses on the scene reported seeing the barge strike the Eads Bridge.

A witness told News 4 the barge approached the bridge at an odd angle. Another witness said the barge crashing into the bridge "sounded like an explosion."

IDOT and The Coast Guard said they are investigating the barge accident and will inspect the structure again to make sure it's safe. 

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