Tanker Strikes Sarah Long Bridge In Portsmouth

Apr 1, 2013

The Sarah Long Bridge in Portsmouth was closed Monday.
Credit Roger Wood, NHPR


The U.S. Coast Guard says an oil tanker has crashed into a bridge that links Maine and New Hampshire, but there's no sign of a spill and no reports of injuries.

Lt. Nick Barrow says the 473-foot Harbour Feature was reported to have had a mechanical failure at 1:30 p.m. Monday and crashed into the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which crosses the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

Barrow said the Portuguese-flagged ship is carrying tallow oil, but there's no evidence of a spill.

NHPR's Roger Wood is at the scene.

“The bridge inspector from NH DOT, the head of maintenance, is currently on the bridge, inspecting any damage that may have occurred. So they are of course quite concerned about the damage to this bridge it being in fragile condition anyway.”

Transportation officials say the ship hit the bridge draw while it was in the down position, and that the bridge will be closed to traffic until it's inspected.

Coast Guard crews are responding to determine how to proceed moving the ship to safety.

Here's video of the tanker, courtesy of New England Cable News.