NATIONAL NEWS

Crews work to recover 3 barges that got loose on Ohio River

Mar 29, 2023, 5:50 AM | Updated: 12:10 pm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Crews were working Wednesday to remove three remaining barges that got loose on the Ohio River, including one carrying methanol.

A total of 10 barges got loose early Tuesday on the river near Louisville, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said. Most were recovered, but the U.S Army Corp of Engineers said three were pinned against the McAlpine Locks and Dam and the locks are closed to traffic until the barges are stabilized, though river traffic was open through the use of the local vessel traffic services.

One of those barges was carrying 1,400 tons of methanol and was partially submerged, Kentucky officials said.

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is a colorless liquid that’s flammable and acutely toxic, according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s used as a solvent for paints and plastics and as an ingredient in a wide variety of products.

Louisville Metro Emergency Services told news outlets they are monitoring air and water, but “there is zero evidence of a tank breach or any leaks.”

More than 80 air quality samples have been taken and all show no evidence of hazards that would pose a health risk, the Corps said Wednesday. Crews were continuing to monitor the situation.

The Corps said it was working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, navigation industry and marine surveyors on recovery efforts. No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard was investigating the incident.

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Crews work to recover 3 barges that got loose on Ohio River