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Accident Report Detail

​Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Barge Gayle Force, Under Tow by Tugboat Simone, with Norfolk Southern Bridge #7

Executive Summary

​At 0720 on April 26, 2015, the barge Gayle Force struck the unmanned Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge #7 (NS#7) on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Virginia, while being towed by the tugboat Simone. The allision caused $1.8 million in damage to the bridge and stopped rail traffic for nearly 36 hours. Damage to the barge was negligible. No one was injured, and there was no pollution associated with the accident.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the barge Gayle Force with the Norfolk Southern Bridge #7 was the Simone captain’s failure to plan for the bridge transit and effectively use the assist tugboat.

Accident Location: Chesapeake , VA USA 36°46.5’ N, 076°17.7’ W
Accident Date: 4/26/2015
Accident ID: DCA15LM021

Date Adopted: 9/14/2016
NTSB Number: MAB1616
NTIS Number:  

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