One of the three barges that was carrying about 1,400 tons of Highly Flammable Methanol, got stuck over a dam on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday. After it hit a solid structure at the entrance to the Portland Canal, the barges somehow managed to break loose from their tugboat.
By Tuesday afternoon, 7 of the 10 barges that broke free had been recovered, and zero injuries had been reported. The remaining three barges, along with the one transporting Highly Flammable methanol, are still stuck against the McAlpine Dam site, and officials are working to remove them.
The incident has pushed officials to reduce traffic on the river, and downriver traffic has been halted. Crews are trying to move the barges, but officials point out that there is currently no evidence of a chemical leak.
Methanol is a form of alcohol that is highly flammable and is also considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Methanol is even utilized in several products, such as windscreen washer fluid, gas line antifreeze, and copy machine fluid.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the reasons behind the incident and how the barges got loose. Officials will be reassessing the situation overnight as they prepare for somewhat dangerous recovery operation.
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