Barges break free from tug, 1 loaded with methanol lodged on McAlpine Dam

The barge is partially submerged.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 1:56 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2023 at 2:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One of 11 barges which broke loose from a tug Tuesday morning has lodged itself against the McAlpine Dam.

According to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, the barge is carrying approximately 1,400 tons of methanol and is partially submerged.

The McAlpine Locks and Dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who released a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m., according to the USACE. No injuries were reported and all personnel are accounted for.

The USACE said three barges have been pinned against the lower dam site, one is pinned against the Louisville and Indiana bridge pier and other barges were recovered by other vessels in the area.

Federal, state and local agencies are working to access the situation. KEEC has dispatched a boat team downstream to assess and monitor water quality.

USACE is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to start recovery efforts of the remaining barges.

State officials say the nearest municipal water intake is at Henderson, Ky.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Louisville Water said the incident did not have an impact on the city’s water intake or quality and Louisville’s water is safe to drink.