Ohio River Disaster as Barge With Tons of Toxic Methanol Sinks near Louisville

Photo: LMES (Fair Use)

On Tuesday, a barge carrying 1,400 tons of toxic methanol crashed on the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky and is currently partially submerged, Newsweek reported.

The Louisville Metropolitan Emergency Services reported that the incident occurred after a vessel towing 11 barges hit a stationary object at the entrance to the Portland Canal, near the McAlpine Dam, just after 2 a.m. ET.

This accident comes just a few weeks after a hazardous plume traveled down the Ohio River from a train derailment site near East Palestine, on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

Measures were taken to prevent contamination of the drinking water that supplies around 5 million people from the river.

The LMES stressed in a statement that there is “currently zero evidence of a tank breach or any leaks” and that “air and water monitoring resources are in place,” as reported by Newsweek.

“Safety is the top concern—safety of the public and first responder personnel,” it added. “There is currently no impact to Louisville Water’s water intake or water quality.”

According to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC), the barge containing methanol in its three cargo holds is currently “lodged” in the lower McAlpine Dam, which was constructed with a series of locks to enable boats to bypass the Falls of the Ohio.

The EEC further stated that the closest municipal water intake is located downstream in Henderson, Kentucky.

Written by staff