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Video: Barge carrying 1,400 tons of hazardous materials crashes in Ohio River; Coast Guard investigating

Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew offloads drugs in San Diego (Petty Officer 3rd Class Alex Gray/Coast Guard)
March 29, 2023

A barge carrying 1,400 tons of toxic Methanol broke loose from a tugboat early Tuesday and has become submerged in the Ohio River after crashing into a dam in Kentucky. Officials said the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident.

According to a press release from Louisville officials, a vessel hauling 11 barges “made contact with a stationary structure at the entrance to the Portland Canal near the McAlpine Lock and Dam.”

“As a result, 10 of the 11 barges broke loose, with three barges settling against the lower McAlpine Dam structure,” the release continued.

In addition to Methanol, the cargoes also carried soy and corn. Officials said there is “currently zero evidence of a tank breach or any leaks, and air and water monitoring resources are in place,” and all barges are accounted for as of Tuesday.

“Safety is the top concern – safety of the public and first responder personnel. There is currently no impact to Louisville Water’s water intake or water quality. The river waterway is open through the use of the local vessel traffic services,” the release stated.

The disaster in the Ohio River comes days after a Canadian Pacific train derailed and leaked hazardous materials in North Dakota.

According to Valley News Live, authorities said 31 cars of the 70-car train derailed near Wyndmere before leaking petroleum, which is used in the production of asphalt. Authorities said the public is not in any danger as a result of the wreck.

Hazardous materials experts with Canadian Pacific responded to the scene, and Richland County Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht said the train’s oil is flammable, but a fire is unlikely because the cars derailed in the snow, which solidifies and cools the oil, KVRR reported.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.