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Federal agencies respond to accident involving loaded coal barges on Ohio River

Federal agencies are responding to a tug and barge accident that dumped coal into the Ohio River in Louisville, Ky.

The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined Tennessee Valley Towing in its efforts to retrieve barges one-by-one after at least six of nine barges lying on the McAlpine Dam sank into the river, according to a Dec. 29, 2018, bulletin from the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard said it opened the Ohio River to vessel traffic from Twelve Mile Island to McAlpine Lock and Dam, but only during daylight hours and with an assist vessel pre-stationed at McAlpine.

The Coast Guard said it received a report Christmas Day that a towing vessel pushing 15 loaded coal barges made contact with a bridge on the Ohio River. The contact caused the vessel's 15 barges to break free. Six of the barges had been recovered as of the Dec. 29 update.

Tennessee Valley Towing and the Coast Guard did not immediately respond Jan. 2 to a request for an update on the response to the incident.