Barges break loose on the Ohio River in Louisville

Barges break loose on the Ohio River in Louisville
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The lock chambers at McAlpine Locks and Dam in Louisville, Kentucky are closed to traffic after 10 barges broke loose from a tow on the Ohio River.

Just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, a ship carrying 11 barges struck a stationary structure at the entrance to the Portland Canal near the lock and causeway, causing 10 of the barges to become detached.

No injuries have been reported and all employees are being considered.

Seven of the runaway barges, including one that was pinned to the L&I railroad bridge pier, were recovered, but three remain pinned to the lower dam at Ohio River Mile 606.8.

Most of the barges carried soybeans and corn, except for one with three independent holds that held approximately 1,400 tons of methanol. There is currently no evidence of a tank rupture or any leaks, the Kentucky Environment and Energy Cabinet (EEC) said.

Kentucky’s EWG is currently monitoring water quality and said there are currently no impacts on Louisville Water’s water intake or water quality. CTEH monitors air quality.

The US Army Corps of Engineers said it is working with the US Coast Guard, the navigation industry and ship surveyors to begin salvage efforts of the remaining barges. The locks remain closed until the barges are stabilized on the causeway.

The Coast Guard said it is currently investigating the cause of this incident.

Source: News Network

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