Ohio River Traffic Remains Blocked By Sunken Barges

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Ohio River traffic remained at a standstill early Saturday after two barges carrying iron ore sank yesterday in the shipping channel near the Belle of Louisville dock, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal in its Saturday edition.

The Coast Guard told the C-J no one was injured and the iron ore the barges were carrying is not hazardous, Coast Guard Lt. J.G. John Adkins said. The Ohio River is blocked between mile marker 603.5 and 608.

Coast Guard officials, as well as the pilot and owner of the sunken vessels, Ingram Barge Co., started to form a salvage plan last night, reports the C-J.

This morning, there are buoys on the water to mark where the barges sank and salvage equipment is en route from Pittsburgh, Adkins said.

“There’s a chance we may be able to get traffic moving on the river on a restricted basis sometime this afternoon but right now, we’re still closed,” he said. “The barges are in the middle of the channel right now so we have to assess whether traffic can navigate through there at all.”

There were 11 vessels waiting to pass through the area this morning, Adkins said.

Adkins told The Louisville Courier-Journal the two barges came loose from a towboat just before 2 p.m. yesterday, Adkins said. The towboat had been pushing 12 barges upstream from the Portland Canal.

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