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The Coast Guard was investigating what caused the vessels to collide Sunday as the crew boat was taking workers who had just ended their shifts across the swollen river. Officials could not immediately say whether high water played a role.

Normally, the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola uses a ferry to take workers and their vehicles back and forth from the west side of the river to the prison on the east side. But crew boats — typically used to move workers to offshore petroleum platforms — had been used recently because of the high water, prison spokeswoman Angie Norwood said.

James LeBlanc, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, told the Advocate newspaper of Baton Rouge that the service would be suspended until river levels drop, forcing prison employees to find other means of travel.

The prison’s warden, Burl Cain, said the setting sun may have played a role in the collision.

“The pilot indicated that the sun was in his eyes, and he just didn’t see the barge,” he said.

NEW YORK

Window installer dies in 9-story fall

NEW YORK — A man installing windows at a building under construction died yesterday when he fell nine stories, apparently after a nylon safety strap failed, city officials said.

Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster said the man fell from the 23rd floor to a 14th-floor balcony at the building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The worker was identified as Kevin Kelly, 25, who lived in the Queens borough.

The Buildings Department said 25 violations warranting penalties had been issued since construction on the building began last year, though none involved the safety strap that was cited as the possible cause of the worker’s fall.

The department halted work at the site and was reviewing how the straps were used.

Colleen Rugg, a spokeswoman for general contractor Hunter Roberts, said, “Our hearts go out to the family affected by this tragedy.”

The building at East 67th Street near First Avenue is about two blocks from a building where two window washers plunged 47 stories in December. One died; the other miraculously survived.

PENNSYLVANIA

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