Towboat loses barges overnight Monday into Tuesday

Barges recovered, no injuries reported
WTAP News @ 11
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:26 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A towboat lost several barges overnight Monday into Tuesday, as witnesses say it ran against the railroad bridge that crosses the Ohio River from Parkersburg to Belpre.

The United States Coast Guard says there was a breakaway-allision involving a towboat and a bridge that night at Mile Marker 184, which is where Belpre is on the river.

The Coast Guard uses the term “allision” when referring to a moving object hitting a stationary object on the water.

A petty officer with the Coast Guard says the allision set loose several barges carrying dry goods and a crane had to be brought in to rescue a partially sunken barge.

Lois Radcliff took these pictures from her home in Belpre that night, after she said she was awoken by the sound of barges banging together.

She estimates the towboat had about 15 barges and lost all but two of them during the event.

Coast Guard officials say the barges were quickly collected and have since made it to their final destination. They say damage was minimal and no pollution has been reported from the incident.

The partially sunken barge was refloated after the crane removed some of the goods it was carrying, reducing its weight.

Officials say minor allisions like these are fairly common on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

No injuries were reported to the Coast Guard.

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