Multiple Bridges Across US River Closed as 26 Barges Go Dead in the Water


The release of more than two dozen barges Friday on the Ohio River has sparked safety concerns on the extensive waterway this weekend.

A number of bridges have been closed in response to the riverine event, according to NBC News.

As of Saturday, authorities remeained unsure why the 26 barges had broken free, according to The New York Times.

Pittsburgh authorities indicated that 23 of the barges were carrying dry cargo such as coal when they broke loose.

Three of them are empty.

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The vessels themselves, rather than their cargo, have caused extensive damage to docks on the river, according to area officials cited by NBC News.

Witnesses who viewed the runaway crafts filmed them colliding with bridges and dams in the Pittsburgh metro area.

The police department of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, announced the closure of the McKees Rocks Bridge on Saturday, before lifting restrictions on vehicular traffic.

A number of barges were later filmed having been halted by the Coast Guard in the vicinity of Pittsburgh’s Brunot Island Bridge.

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Campbell Transportation Company, which operates the crafts, took responsibility for the accidental release in a statement provided to KDKA-TV.

“Campbell Transportation Company, Inc. is actively responding to a recent development involving a multi-barge breakaway in Pittsburgh.

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“Our immediate priority is ensuring public safety and minimizing any potential environmental impact.”

Only one of the barges remains unaccounted for, according to the company’s statement.

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