More than 20 barges break loose on Ohio River, recovery efforts underway


Multiple barges break loose and float down Ohio River

Multiple barges break loose and float down Ohio River


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating after more than 20 barges broke loose and floated down the Ohio River. 

The commander for the Pittsburgh district of the Army Corp of Engineers told KDKA the 26 barges that broke loose have been accounted for, with some of them resting against the Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River. 

He said early investigation found no issues with the dam and no one was hurt. 

Pittsburgh Police said the call came in around 11:30 on Friday night. 

A spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard said 26 barges broke away from a vessel at mile marker one. Of the 26 barges, 23 were loaded and three were empty. 

Those that were loaded were carrying dry cargo such as coal, but no hazardous materials were being carried. 

There have been no reports of contamination or pollution. 

Eleven of the barges came to a stop, pinned against the river bank by Brunot Island and now are being held by a tugboat. 

The commander said that 9 stopped at Emsworth Lock and Dam. 

Meanwhile, the remaining six went through the dam and have been accounted for downstream, five of them have been located and it’s believed one of them sunk. 

In the process, Peggy’s Marina sustained extensive damage, and there was damage to other docks in the area. 

The incident is under investigation but the commander told KDKA the high water levels played a factor. 

Campbell Transportation Company owns and operates the barges. 

The bridges that were closed overnight have since reopened. 

We will have coverage all morning long on KDKA-TV, CBS News Pittsburgh, and


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