After breaking free on Friday night on the Ohio River, 26 barges now accounted for

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating after more than 20 barges broke loose and floated down the Ohio River.

The commander for the Pittsburgh district of the Army Corp of Engineers told KDKA the 26 barges that broke loose have been accounted for, with some of them resting against the Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River.

He said early investigation found no issues with the dam and no one was hurt.

Pittsburgh Police said the call came in around 11:30 on Friday night.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard said 26 barges broke away from a vessel at mile marker one. Of the 26 barges, 23 were loaded and three were empty.

Those that were loaded were carrying dry cargo such as coal, but no hazardous materials were being carried.

There have been no reports of contamination or pollution.

Eleven of the barges came to a stop, pinned against the river bank by Brunot Island and now are being held by a tugboat.

The commander said that 9 stopped at Emsworth Lock and Dam.

Meanwhile, the remaining six went through the dam and have been accounted for downstream, five of them have been located and it's believed one of them sunk.

In the process, Peggy's Marina sustained extensive damage, and there was damage to other docks in the area.

The incident is under investigation but the commander told KDKA the high water levels played a factor.

Campbell Transportation Company owns and operates the barges.

The company provided KDKA with a statement.

"Campbell Transportation Company, Inc. is actively responding to a recent development involving a multi-barge breakaway in Pittsburgh. Our immediate priority is ensuring public safety and minimizing any potential environmental impact. We are actively collaborating with local authorities, including the Coast Guard, Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT, and various law enforcement and EMS agencies, to assess the situation and take necessary measures to address it promptly. Governmental authorities have informed us that all bridges are currently open for vehicular traffic. According to our initial assessment, 23 loaded open hopper barges and 3 empty barges are among the impacted vessels. We can confirm that 17 of the barges have been secured and are under control, 8 barges are against the Emsworth Lock and Dam, while 1 barge is still missing.The incident occurred under high water conditions on the rivers resulting in strong currents due to flooding in the area."

The bridges that were closed overnight have since reopened.

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