Towboat fire closes Mississippi River in northeast Arkansas

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — A towboat fire prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close a 10-mile stretch of the Mississippi River for more than seven hours between northeastern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi.

A Coast Guard statement says the fire was reported about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday aboard the uninspected towing vessel Jacob Kyle Rusthoven near Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. The vessel was pushed to the Arkansas river bank where firefighting efforts continued.

The Coast Guard reports 13,300 gallons of fuel were aboard the vessel but no pollution had been reported. Its crew members also were reported safe.

The Coast Guard reopened the river shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, and the fire declared out about 8:30 p.m.

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