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Possibly Intoxicated Drawbridge Operator Hits Passing Freighter

drawbridge detroit

A bridge over the Rouge River near Detroit sustained severe damage early Sunday morning, after the operator began lowering the drawbridge as a 670-foot freighter ship was passing under, Detroit Free Press reports.

From ABC affiliate WXYZ:

The U.S. Coast Guard reports the accident happened around 2:12 am Sunday morning when the Herbert C. Jackson freighter was attempting to pass through and the bridge prematurely came down on the boat causing extensive damage to the draw bridge.

The Jefferson Bridge was hit hardest by the collision, but the ship also received damage above the water line, according to CBS Detroit. No injuries were reported from the ship’s crew.

“[The bridge] will be closed indefinitely to vehicle traffic,” Cindy Dingell, Wayne County Department of Public Services deputy chief operating officer told the Free Press.

The 43-year-old woman operating the bridge was taken into police custody on suspicion of possible alcohol or drug intoxication.

“At this point in the investigation, we believe that it was the fault of the bridge operator closing the bridge as the ship was still transiting through,” U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Justin Westmiller, told Detroit Free Press.

The bridge remains closed to vehicle traffic as engineers attempt to review its structural integrity, according WXYZ.

Here’s video from the scene, courtesy of WXYZ:

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