Harbour Bridge accident: crew released from custody, vessel still detained


The 13-member crew aboard the Panamanian registered vessel which collided with the Demerara Harbour Bridge on Monday, forcing its closure, has been released from Police custody.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Jaipaul Sharma told the News Room Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the bridge was reopened, that the Police are continuing their investigation.

He said there are a few initial findings but abstained from making those findings public until a full investigation is completed.

Sharma said the Police are currently looking for another person for questioning.

The bridge re-opened to light traffic on Tuesday afternoon

With regards to the vessel, it remains impounded by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) even as that agency conducts its own independent investigation.

The vessel was loaded with gravel material but somehow drifted for several miles along the Demerara River before slamming into the bridge.

The barge which collided with the Demerara Harbour Bridge

On Monday, the bridge remained out of alignment between the high span and the retractor span, preventing the passage of vehicular and marine traffic.

Although structural repairs have been completed and the bridge was reopened, heavier categories of vehicles are still prohibited from crossing the bridge until the realignment is complete.

That will likely be done when there is a change in tide on Wednesday.

The General Manager for the Demerara Harbour Bridge Company, Rawlston Adams said although severe, the extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Once that assessment is complete the cost of repairs will be calculated.

It is expected that the owners of the vessel will have to bear some of the cost associated with the damage and repairs.

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