Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago responding to sunken barge in Chicago River

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CHICAGO — Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago are responding to a barge that broke free from its mooring Friday afternoon and sank in the Chicago River between the Lake and Randolph Street Bridges.

The Coast Guard was notified of the incident at about 1:15 p.m. The barge was loaded with 750 yards of clay being used for the Chicago River Walk Expansion project. There were no injuries and there are no reports of pollution.

To accommodate salvage operations by the owner of the barge, the Coast Guard closed the Chicago River between Lake and Randolph Street Bridges starting at 6 p.m. until 9 a.m. Saturday.

The river is expected to reopen in time for the scheduled bridge lift to allow recreational boaters to head inland with their vessels for winter layup. However, the river closure may continue after the scheduled bridge opening if the barge has not been refloated and moved to the west side of the river.

A broadcast notice to mariners is being released by Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan over channel 16.

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