The Liberian-flagged freighter En May was removed on Friday from one of the pillars of the Zárate-Brazo Largo bridge that connects the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos, where she got stuck after losing her steering capabilities last Sunday. Full navigation was thus restored on the Paraná River waterway.
The task of freeing the vessel, while ensuring that no damage was done to the structure, was entrusted to the Argentine Ports Authority (AGP) and the Argentine National Coast Guard (PNA). The AGP activated the National Emergency Plan, known as Planacon, and the PNA assessed the safety conditions for towing the vessel to a nearby shipyard for repairs.
No injuries were reported after last Sunday's collision and the vessel was never in danger of sinking, a PNA spokesman said.
The shipping companies behind the En May engaged a company specialized in highly difficult maneuvers to get involved in the removal of the vessel from her predicament. In the meantime, traffic was partially diverted to the Paraná Guazú.
Regarding land traffic over the bridge, Ernesto Arriaga, a spokesman for the structure's operators, told reporters that over the next 24 hours, approximately 21,000 vehicles will pass through the Zárate-Brazo Largo rail complex, including cars, buses, trucks, and vans, and of course grain trucks bound for the ports of Rosario, Zárate, Bahía Blanca and Quequén.
He also announced that additional precautions would be taken during the weekend, when thousands of cars are expected to be heading for Gualeguaychú, in Entre Ríos, for the traditional Carnival celebrations.
We carried out a total traffic cut, in both directions of traffic on Route 12, which continues on Route 14, at the level of the Mitre Bridge, in the province of Buenos Aires and Entre Rios, and Gendarmerie personnel proceeded to cut at the roundabout and the gas station so that users have the services and estimate that it will last until 1:30 p.m., Arriaga explained.