26 Barges break loose on Ohio River in Pittsburgh

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13 Apr 2024, 7:26 am

26 barges break loose and float down Ohio River, causing damage and prompting bridge closures in Pittsburgh, officials say

A marina in Pittsburgh sustained extensive damage after 26 barges, most of which were loaded with dry cargo, broke loose late Friday night and floated uncontrolled down the Ohio River, according to authorities.

Two Pittsburgh-area bridges about 2.5 miles apart were closed after the barges broke free.

No hazardous materials were on board the barges, according to the city. Of the 26 loose barges, 23 were loaded and carrying dry cargo, including coal, according to the news release.

Eleven of the barges were located and pinned against the river bank by Brunot Island, according to a news release from the City of Pittsburgh. They were being held by a tugboat.

Meanwhile, 14 continued down the river and six have gone over the Emsworth Dam, the city said.

While there have been no reports of people injured, Peggy’s Harbor - a family owned and operated full service marina located on the Ohio River - was damaged, the release said. It’s unclear exactly what the damage to the marina looks like.

“The barges are owned or operated by Campbell Transportation Company located on the left descending bank of the Ohio River, just downstream from the West End Bridge,” Pittsburgh officials said in the news release.

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13 Apr 2024, 7:59 am

I took a course in basic business law some years ago. One of the first cases they taught us about was that of a flood on...the same part of the same river. The Ohio/western Penn area around the Ohio River...back around 1900. Folks woke up one morning to find their homes and towns half under water because...overnight a small ship got unmoored, drifted down the Ohio unmanned...nudged against another moored boat...got IT unmoored...and the two of them drifted together further down..and both got pinned against a bridge...forming a dam...causing the river above the bridge to flood over its banks.

The back story (what happened above) was more memorable than the conclusion (what the point of law was I was supposed to learn). I suppose that the owners of the first boat would have been liable for negligence because they
failed to make sure it was securely tied up at the pier. So they would have to pay for ...destroying several towns! :lol:

Sorry, but I dont recall if thats what happened at the conclusion or not.

Maybe some law student here knows the case I am talking about.