Barge that crashed into bridge was not anchored in a designated position

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Preliminary investigations reveal that the barge that crashed into the Demerara Harbour Bridge was not anchored in a designated position, according to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson.

The Demerara Harbour Bridge is closed until further notice after the barge collided with it during the wee hours of today.

During an interview on State Radio, Minister Patterson explained that the barge was scheduled to cross tomorrow.

“But it wasn’t anchored where it was supposed to be anchored,” he explained.

Reports are that the vessel started drifting from Diamond/Grove area after it broke away from its anchor.

Only one person onboard spoke English, he explained, noting that the language barrier contributed to difficulties in dealing with the situation.

“By the time they issued a ‘mayday’ call they already struck the bridge,” Minister Patterson explained.

The accident has inconvenienced hundreds of commuters, especially today on the first day back to school.

With the Harbour Bridge down, the only means of transportation for persons on the West Side is the Vreed-en-Hoop ferry service.

Police officers and other stakeholders managed to tame the confusion at the stelling, where there was a mad rush of persons.

The ferry service began earlier than usual today and it is expected to be available later than usual tonight.

Emergency repair works have begun on the Harbour Bridge and Minister Patterson is hoping that normalcy will return on Tuesday.