Coast Guard responding to barge breakaway, waterway closure on Ohio River

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a barge breakaway at the Racine Lock and Dam on the Ohio River near Huntington, West Virginia, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report that UTV Austin C. Settoon, pushing three barges loaded with approximately 3,780,000 gallons of natural gas condensate, allided with the lock wall at approximately 5:30 a.m. The barges subsequently broke away.

One barge is contained in the lock while the remaining two barges are pinned against gates seven and eight of the dam, with the vessel pinned against gates six and seven.

The Racine Lock and Dam is closed, creating a queue of 13 upbound vessels and 11 downbound vessels.

Members of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Huntington are on scene to conduct a marine casualty investigation.

A unified command has been established, which consists of the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and the responsible party, Settoon Towing Company.

The Coast Guard has issued a safety marine information broadcast via channel 16.

There have been no reports of injuries or pollution.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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