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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Michael G Morris Tow with Thebes Railroad Bridge

Executive Summary

​On April 6, 2016, about 0343 local time, the towing vessel Michael G Morris, pushing 30 loaded grain barges, allided with the Thebes Railroad Bridge at mile marker (mm) 43.7 on the Upper Mississippi River in Thebes, Illinois. The vessel and the bridge sustained no damage, but all barges broke away and 16 of them incurred $850,000 in estimated total damage. No pollution or injuries were reported.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the Michael G Morris tow with the Thebes Railroad Bridge was the pilot not correctly accounting for the river current in the bend just above the bridge, resulting in his late and insufficient use of rudder while making the turn.

Accident Location: Thebes , IL USA Upper Mississippi River at mile marker 43.7; 37°13.0’ N, 89°28.0’ W
Accident Date: 4/6/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FM036

Date Adopted: 6/30/2017
NTSB Number: MAB1723
NTIS Number:  

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