Company Says Kentucky Bridge Lights Out Before Wreck

By BRETT BARROUQUERE | February 16, 2012

The owners of a cargo ship that struck and collapsed part of a western Kentucky bridge say they were not responsible for a nighttime collision that took out part of the span because some of the bridge’s lights were not working.

Foss Maritime, which owns the Delta Mariner, made the claim in a federal lawsuit seeking to exonerate itself from any liability from the Jan. 26 collision on the Tennessee River near Aurora.

The five-story tall ship struck the bridge just before 8 p.m. CST, tearing away a span and halting traffic.

Foss Maritime put the value of the boat at $13 million.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Coast Guard in Paducah, Lt. Jennifer Jessee, says all aspects of the wreck are being reviewed and no cause has been determined.

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