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Emergency crews respond to barge accident in Mississippi River

By Lisa Burnett

This article was originally published April 8, 2014 at 5:59 p.m. Updated April 8, 2014 at 6:15 p.m.

Officials are searching for an unknown number of people Tuesday afternoon after a barge sank in the Mississippi River in northeast Arkansas.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Brandon Morris said his office was notified shortly after 5 p.m. that a barge was "taking on water" in the river just east of Blytheville near the town of Armorel.

"Emergency responders are there. The Coast Guard, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, helicopters — you name it," he said.

Mississippi County sheriff's office dispatcher Kim Skelton said officials were searching for people in the water, but neither she nor Morris knew how many people were on the barge at the time of the accident.

A spokesman with the Game and Fish Commission said the barge was unloading when it started sinking in the river.

No further details were immediately available.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.

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