Four barges broke free and sank on the Mississippi River near Winfield, Missouri. The motor vessel Julie White was pushing the barges, loaded with gravel, downstream as it approached the locks at Dam 25. The current pulled the barges free and pulled them onto the piers at the dam. The water rushed over the barges which quickly swamped and sank pinned against the piers. The current near the lock was strong as the dam was operating as ?open river?. An ?open river? means that all the dam?s gates were open to accomidate the high water level. Salvage plans are being made with the Corps of Engineers. The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation into the accident.