River barges break loose in Pittsburgh, causing damage and closing bridges before some go over a dam

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A large group of river barges broke loose and floated down the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, damaging a marina and causing bridge closures before the boats were pinned to the riverbank or went over a dam downstream, officials said.

Pittsburgh police, fire and emergency medical services responded around 11:25 p.m. Friday to reports of the barges “floating uncontrolled” down the river, Pittsburgh Public Safety said in a statement. The area had been hit by flooding after heavy rains Thursday.

There were no reports of any injuries after the 26 barges broke free, including 23 loaded with dried cargo including coal. There were no hazardous materials on board the vessels, the city said.

Peggy’s Harbor, a marina on the river, sustained extensive damage.

The city said 11 barges were held against the riverbank and secured by a tugboat near Brunot
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