Tugboat engine room fire restricts river traffic overnight

The Coast Guard says an engine room fire on a tugboat restricted traffic overnight on a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, but the restrictions were lifted Thursday morning.

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018 2:21 PM
Updated: Jan. 25, 2018 2:21 PM

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — The Coast Guard says an engine room fire on a tugboat restricted traffic overnight on a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, but the restrictions were lifted Thursday morning.

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A news release says the George King's nine crew members all escaped safely after reporting the engine room fire about 8:50 p.m. Wednesday near Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Petty Officer Brandon Giles says that another tugboat, the C. Michael Reeves, pushed the George King and its tow of 30 empty barges to the bank, where it was secured.

He says firefighting efforts were unsuccessful, but the fire burned itself out. He says that by midmorning Thursday, it was only smoldering.

Giles says boom was set out around the George King, but the vessel did not appear to be leaking any diesel fuel.

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