Barge Partially Sinks

Monday, January 30, 2006
The AP has reported that a barge hauling 800,000 gallons of liquid asphalt that strayed from its tow has partially sunk to the river bottom, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard said the barge doesn't seem in danger of breaking. The river current has pushed the 80-foot barge sideways against a railroad bridge near downtown Louisville. Nauert said the barge is believed to be stable. The barge was one of three that got away from their tow Thursday when a connecting cable broke or separated. Two of the barges were caught, but the third went over the McAlpine Dam spillway and eventually wedged against the bridge. Officials can't tell how much has leaked from the barge, but Nauert said there was no evidence of significant leaking. Barge owner Magnolia Marine Transportation Co. of Vicksburg, Miss., has hired a Pennsylvania company, River Salvage Co., to bring in two crane barges to pump out the spilled asphalt and secure the broken barge before it is towed away. The cleanup could take up to three weeks or more, according to officials.

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