Trial begins over role of Katrina barge

June 22, 2010 at 2:38 PM

NEW ORLEANS, June 22 (UPI) -- A federal judge heard arguments on whether a loose barge broke a flood wall and caused deadly flooding in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, observers say.

Residents of the city's 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish have brought a lawsuit against the company in charge of mooring the barge, alleging it behaved irresponsibly in neglecting to take steps to secure the empty barge properly at a dock as the 2005 hurricane approached, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Tuesday.

Attorneys for the residents told U.S. District Judge Standwood Duval they would present testimony on the barge breaking through the canal flood wall.

Lawyers for the company, Lafarge North America Inc., responded by arguing it is "scientifically impossible" for the barge to have caused the flood wall breach.

They also said in court documents even if the canal had not been breached, flooding within hours from the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet would have inundated the Lower 9th Ward.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Shark bite confirmed off North Carolina shore
Small plane crash kills two near Dallas
Justice Department investigating airlines for alleged price fixing
Nicholas Winton, "England's Schindler," dies at 106
Eurozone leader says no more talks with Greece before Sunday vote