CHAOS: Bulk Carrier Takes Out Railroad Bridge in Panama Canal
gCaptian reports A bulk carrier transiting the Panama Canal took out the railroad bridge in Gamboa on Tuesday, causing major damage.
The Panama Canal Authority said it is investigating the accident and that ship transits are not impacted by the incident.
The railway bridge crosses the Chagres River in Gamboa, Panama. It is part of the Panama Canal Railway which parallels the Panama Canal providing freight and passenger service linking the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean.
The ship involved is the Cyprus-flagged MV Bluebill, a 37,000 dwt bulk carrier built in 2004. AIS data shows the ship was transiting the Canal in a northbound direction, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, after sailing from Korea.
The AIS track below shows the track of the Bluebill as it struck the bridge. A source tells gCaptain that the Bluebill’s rudder had become stuck to starboard and the vessel was making over 7 knots while loaded with steel products. “There was little that could be done,” we are told.