Chaos On The Ohio River: 26 Barges Break Loose, Wreaking Havoc

By Jennifer Wentworth | Sunday, 14 April 2024 04:30 PM
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In an unusual occurrence, 26 barges were set adrift on the Ohio River in Pittsburgh on Friday evening, floating aimlessly downstream.

In response to the incident, local authorities in Pittsburgh promptly shut down the McKees Rocks Bridge and the West End Bridge, citing an "abundance of caution."

Reports from the scene indicate that eleven of the loose barges were halted by colliding with a riverbank near Brunot Island. Tugboats have since been dispatched to retrieve the stranded vessels.

Nine additional barges were discovered at the Emsworth Lock and Dam. The Pittsburgh district commander for the Army Corp of Engineers confirmed that an initial assessment revealed no harm to the dam. However, a nearby marina suffered significant damage.

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According to CBS News, numerous law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the incident involving the runaway barges on the Ohio River. The Army Corp of Engineers' commander informed KDKA that all 26 barges have been accounted for, with some found against the Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River.

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He further stated that preliminary investigations have not identified any problems with the dam, and no injuries have been reported.

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The Pittsburgh Police received the initial call regarding the incident at approximately 11:30 PM on Friday. A representative for the U.S. Coast Guard reported that 26 barges had detached from a vessel at mile marker one. Of these, 23 were loaded, and three were empty.

The cause of the barges' detachment is currently under investigation. However, authorities suspect that elevated water levels may have been a contributing factor.

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