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HomeLatest NewsBarges break free, drift uncontrolled on Ohio River, forcing closure of bridges.

Barges break free, drift uncontrolled on Ohio River, forcing closure of bridges.

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A chaotic scene unfolded in Pittsburgh late Friday night when more than two dozen barges broke loose on the Ohio River, some careening over dams as they floated uncontrolled downstream. City officials reported that 23 of the barges were carrying cargo such as coal, but fortunately, none were loaded with hazardous materials. The incident caused the closure of several bridges in the area as a precautionary measure until the situation could be safely resolved.

Despite the dramatic turn of events, no injuries were reported from the barge debacle, but there was significant damage sustained by Peggy’s Harbor along the river’s northern bank. The closure of bridges, including the West End Bridge and a rail bridge to Brunot Island, disrupted local transportation until they could be assessed for safety. This incident comes shortly after a bridge collapse near Baltimore, raising concerns about the overall safety of bridges across the United States.

As city officials continue to assess the situation and search for the missing barge, the National Weather Service extended a flood warning for the Ohio River near Pittsburgh as water levels rose above the flood stage. The cause of the barge mishap remains unclear, with the Coast Guard focusing on locating the unaccounted-for vessel as a top priority. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability of nature and the importance of maintaining infrastructure safety in waterway transport.

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