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Disabled tanker ship hits bridge linking Maine, N.H.

By Laura Ly, CNN
updated 10:05 PM EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
A disabled tanker ship collided with a bridge linking Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine.
A disabled tanker ship collided with a bridge linking Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ship drifted into heavily used span linking Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine
  • The ship carrying tallow oil sustained damage above the water line, no cargo leaking
  • The Sarah Long Bridge, built in 1940, was damaged

(CNN) -- A disabled tanker ship collided with a bridge linking Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, on Monday, closing the heavily used span to traffic.

The 470-foot Harbour Feature was carrying tallow oil when it hit the aging Sarah Long Bridge stretching over the Piscatagua River.

The crew of the Portuguese-flagged ship reported a rupture of up to 12 inches above the waterline, the Coast Guard said. But there was no indication of any leaking cargo.

No injuries were reported.

Around 6 p.m., the vessel was pulled off the bridge and safely moored at the state pier on the New Hampshire side, said Coast Guard spokesman Robert Simpson.

The matter is under investigation, Coast Guard spokesman Adam Stanton said.

The bridge, which was built in 1940 and normally carries about 14,000 vehicles per day, sustained some damage, said Bill Boynton, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Transportation Department.

The ship apparently was disabled when it drifted into the span, the Coast Guard said. But it was unclear why that was the case.

The ship was carrying tallow oil, which can be used for biofuels, in cooking or for making soap.

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