One Life-Flighted When Barge Overturns on Smithville Lake

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. —  A barge overturned on Smithville Lake Friday morning, sending workers into the water and one to the hospital. A crew of six contract workers and a tugboat operator plunged into the water before the barge capsized.

The accident happened around 9:30 a.m. in the northeast arm of the lake. Police said the barge was working with the Missouri Department of Transportation to set a beam on a bridge on Route W. The barge capsized when it became overloaded.

The Missouri Water Patrol responded and by 10:30 a.m., all workers had been pulled out of the water by a crane. A conservation worker in another boat also assisted in pulling the men to safety. One worker, an older member of the crew, was life-flighted to an area hospital, but only as a precaution. MoDOT says the person was a contractor, not a MoDOT employee.

Sgt. Bill Lowe said it was unfortunate the accident happened on a cold day, but that all crew members are expected to be okay.

According to the Smithville Herald, a barge overturned and sunk in Smithville Lake on March 20, 2012. The barge was working to replace rock for fish habitat. For more on that story, click here.

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