The National Transportation Safety Board has begun a formal investigation into Saturday's collision between runaway barges and the gambling vessel PRESIDENT CASINO ON THE ADMIRAL in the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
NTSB Board Member George W. Black, Jr., will travel to St. Louis on Tuesday morning to join the Board's Go-Team, which arrived in St. Louis Sunday night.
The accident occurred Saturday evening, April 4. The towboat ANNE HOLLY was pushing a 14-barge tow upriver through St. Louis harbor when the towboat operator apparently lost control in the strong river current and the tow struck the Eads Bridge. One or two barges came loose from the tow and drifted down river, striking the casino vessel, which held an estimated 2,300 persons. The casino boat partially lost its moorings, but was held to the dock by the ANNE HOLLY. There were no serious injuries in the accident.
A preliminary inspection of the PRESIDENT CASINO ON THE ADMIRAL disclosed two holes in the bow of the boat, above the waterline.
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious transportation accidents. Safety recommendations resulting from its investigations may be issued at any time.