Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bridges Reopen after 15 Coal Barges Break Loose on Monongahela River

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bridges Reopen after 15 Coal Barges Break Loose on Monongahela River

Article excerpt

More than a dozen barges broke loose Thursday afternoon and floated down the Monongahela River.

Authorities shut down the Rankin Bridge and Homestead Grays Bridge to traffic for more than three hours. The bridges reopened about 8:15 p.m.

About 15 barges loaded with coal were reported to be moving downstream from the Rankin Bridge shortly before 4 p.m., according to Allegheny County emergency officials.

A number of towboats and other vessels responded to secure the barges, but two sank, officials said.

Allegheny County said on its official Twitter account that three barges were stuck on the Rankin Bridge and four others were floating toward the Homestead Grays Bridge.

The Coast Guard led the response with assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers and police from multiple municipalities.

Only the Rankin Bridge was impacted by the barges, and an inspection crew was sent to ensure the integrity of the structure. …

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