Two Barge Workers Still Lost In Mississippi River

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(Blytheville, AR) Rescue crews have little hope of finding two barge workers alive.

The two men fell into the Mississippi River in Hickman, Ark., when their barge capsized.

They were unloading supplies for the energy company Kinder Morgan.

Kinder Morgan is calling this a search, but not a search and rescue.

Workers for Kinder Morgan put up yellow tape, blocking WREG crews from seeing its unloading dock, where the two men went underwater more than 24 hours ago.

"We are naturally concerned about their safety," said Richard Wheatley, the communications director for Kinder Morgan.

Wheatley says the company will not be releasing the names of the two victims or the barge company involved.

One victim's family has been notified and the other family has not.

Wednesday, the Coast Guard searched a ten-mile stretch of the Mississippi River.

"The Mississippi remains closed between mille marker 825 to 815," said Wheatley.

While the Coast Guard searches, other agencies, including a dive team, stopped looking for the two workers last night.

"A dive team did go into the water last night and they have brought back information to the incident command post but I'm not at liberty to give you that," said Wheatley.

The Coast Guard says the workers were unloading 50,000 lbs. of steel coils when the barge capsized and trapped them underneath.

The barge sank to the bottom of the Mississippi.

The Coast Guard tells us the river was flowing about five miles an hour Wednesday.

Since it's been more than 24 hours since the accident, the two lost workers could be anywhere south along the great Mississipp.


  • Don

    There is a large Dock that has a large crane that should be able to handle the the reels. further north there is another dock much smaller one not near as large. I don’t know if either is the Kinder Morgan is the one that they were using.

    • Don

      I looked a little further downstream and found Kinder Morgan Terminals
      6162 Arkansas 18 Blytheville, AR 72315 They appear to have a dock of their own. I don’t believe the article stated the location was Hickman Ar.
      I could not tell if they had a dock machine that would be able to handle such loads.

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