Search suspended, three presumed dead in Mississippi River

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
January 27, 2020 - 9:24 pm

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for three missing people who went down with a tow boat that sank in the Mississippi River Sunday.

"Coast Guard crews searched over 835 nautical miles for approximately 67 hours but were unable to find the three missing mariners," according to a news release.

Meanwhile a release of sulfuric acid fumes from a barge at the time of the crash has crews still taking air quality readings.

"Air monitoring is ongoing in the area surrounding the incident. The air in the immediate vicinity of the affected barge has now been cleared of any traces of sulfuric acid. There are no immediate health issues or concerns to the surrounding communities."

The incident began wham two towing vessels collided on the Mississippi River at mile marker 123, near Luling, Louisiana.

Authorities had closed the river, but reopened it Sunday night.

"This area is still subject to restrictions put in place by Coast Guard Sector New Orleans’ Vessel Traffic Service."

The National Transportation Safety Board has joined the Coast Guard to investigate the cause of the incident.

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