Apr 16, 2024
2 mins read
2 mins read

Ohio River Near Pittsburgh Closed, Crews Search For Missing Barge

Ohio River Near Pittsburgh Closed, Crews Search For Missing Barge

(NEWSnet/AP) — A stretch of Ohio River near Pittsburgh remained closed to maritime traffic on Monday as crews searched for a barge believed to have sunk over the weekend.

It’s among 26 barges that broke loose and floated down the rain-swollen river.

U.S. Coast Guard launched an investigation into how the barges separated late Friday, striking a bridge and a pair of marinas. All but three of the barges were loaded with coal, fertilizer and other dry cargo.

No injuries were reported and no hazardous materials spilled into the river, according to Pittsburgh police and Coast Guard officials.

The river is expected to remain off-limits while the barges’ owner formulates a plan to salvage the vessels.

Coast Guard investigators said high water is a possible cause or factor, said Cmdr. Justin Jolley of the marine safety unit in Pittsburgh. The area had been hit by flooding after heavy rain Thursday.

Seven barges remain stuck. Another barge was pinned against Dashields Locks and Dam, several miles downstream.

High water can pose a risk for tied barges, said Alan Nogy, operations project manager of locks and dams at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District.

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