Testimony provided during the Coast Guard hearings on the crash that collapsed a portion of the Eggners Ferry Bridge has provided some answers for those who's livelihood depend on the bridge traffic. Some information shocked Aurora restaurant owner Bertha Wilson who attended hearings earlier in the week:
“I guess it’s just real disappointing to know there just wasn’t better facets in place to check these navigation lights and things like that, and I’m kind of focusing for that first day because that’s when I was there and hearing that. It’s hugely important like we know now.”
The US Coast Guard will begin a formal hearing today to hear testimony regarding the collision between a cargo ship and the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge in late January. January 26th, the cargo ship Delta Mariner struck the span crossing Kentucky Lake causing portions to collapse. There were no deaths or injuries. Coast Guard officials say the purpose of the investigation is to examine the causes of the incident and make recommendations to help avoid similar incidents. It is not intended to determine civil or criminal responsibility.
A Coast Guard hearing on the collapse of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake begins April 16 in Paducah. The hearing will set the stage for a comprehensive Coast Guard report.
The fact finding hearing will last up to seven days and include testimony from parties in interest, which will likely include the Commonwealth and Foss Maritime, which owns and operates the ship that collided with the bridge. The ship’s pilot is another likely witness. The pilots name hasn’t been released since the January collision, which collapsed a 322 foot span of the bridge.
The Coast Guard has approved the transit of the Delta Mariner to a safe harbor on the Tennessee River today.
Salvage workers successfully cut the Delta Mariner free from subsurface bridge debris at 10:15 a.m., and will continue removing remaining portions of the bridge from the bow of the ship once it is safely secured a mile from its current location.