On January 24, the 42 meter long towboat George King caught fire on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi. The fire started in the vessel’s engine room and quickly engulfed the superstructure. The nine crew on board were able escape the flames by climbing onto the barges being pushed by the George King. The 168 foot long towboat Michael Reeves came to their assistance and pushed the George King ashore onto the river bank. No reports of injuries.
The Coast Guard along with other local and state authorities arrived on scene a short time later. River traffic was restricted while authorities extinguished the blaze. A boom and absorbent pads were placed around the George King to contain any pollution. Reports state there was 65,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board the George King.
The fire had gutted most the towboat’s superstructure and no reports if the George King will be salvaged or scrapped.