Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN BREAKING NEWS

Barge Strikes Bridge in Eastern Oklahoma

Aired May 26, 2002 - 10:02   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR:. Now I understand we have somebody on the line. We have the mayor of Webbers Falls on the line with us with more on this story about the barge that hit the bridge on the Arkansas River.

Mayor, thank you for joining us at the last minute.

JEWELL HORN, MAYOR OF WEBBERS FALLS: Yes, ma'am.

PHILLIPS: What can you tell us?

HORN: All I know is that a barge came loose on the Arkansas River. It hit the I-40 bridge, which is -- has heavy traffic. The bridge collapsed. We have -- we had -- we had vehicles going into the river. We may have people trapped. We are now trying to get the bodies out. Possibly another bridge could have been hit. We're checking on that right now. And it's starting to be a heavy downpour here, and we do have a little bit of chaos right now. If you could call me back maybe in about an hour, I might be able to help you a little more.

PHILLIPS: We will definitely do that, but, mayor, before we let you go, can you tell us if there are any reported fatalities yet and are there survivors?

HORN: We -- we're really not sure. We're trying right now to rescue, could possibly be both. In fact, we're pretty sure there will be both, maybe, but we're not sure.

PHILLIPS: Can you tell us anything about this -- about this bridge? How old it is? How long it's been there?

HORN: It's not really that old. The bridge is possibly -- hang on just a minute.

Calvin (ph), how old is this I-40 bridge -- 20 years?

CALVIN: Yeah, or more.

HORN: About 20 year or more.

PHILLIPS: I got to tell you, I appreciate you bringing this information as quick as possible to us, mayor. What about this barge, what can you tell us about the barge? HORN: Well we have -- we have a grain elevator here that the barges do go up and down the river here. And the barge came loose through the night and it hit the bridge. Right now I've had a report that it may have hit the other bridge that we're directing the traffic around on also, and we're fixing to check that out, because if that's happened, we do have a -- we do have a big disaster here.

PHILLIPS: And you have everybody, of course, involved in this search and rescue.

HORN: Oh we have county -- we have the highway patrol, county, my officers. We have ambulances here. We have helicopter flying in. My City Hall is open. We're bringing people in here. We have a place that we will be taking the bodies to, in case there is bodies, but we are prepared for this.

PHILLIPS: And you have water rescue teams also airborne (ph)?

HORN: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am. They're fixing to start diving right now.

PHILLIPS: OK, well I can imagine you have a lot to tend to. What's your next plan of action right now?

HORN: Right now we're just trying to get these people out.

PHILLIPS: Understandable.

HORN: OK?

PHILLIPS: Mayor Jewell Horn, thank you so much. We'll check back in with you.

One again we've been talking about the barge that hit the bridge on the Arkansas River that has just came to us. Authorities say the barge rammed into the bridge on Interstate 40 over the Arkansas River. That's near Sallisaw. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but as you can see from the mayor, it's possible that there are fatalities. Also it is possible there are survivors.

Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said that -- say that the state is now in a state of emergency this morning. You could tell that also by the mayor. We are told that the part of the bridge has already collapsed into the river. We'll try and bring you pictures and more details as soon as we know more about this barge hitting a bridge on the Arkansas River.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top