Public Safety Blotter Articles

UPDATE: Pittsburgh Public Safety Responds to Barge Emergency on Ohio River

Date: April 12, 2024
Incident Type:

UPDATE: The McKees Rocks Bridge was reopened just after 6:15 a.m. while the train bridge to Brunot Island reopened at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Any further updates regarding this incident should be directed to the Campbell Transportation Company.

Original post:

At 11:25 p.m., Pittsburgh Fire, EMS, and Police were dispatched for reports of barges breaking loose and floating uncontrolled down the Ohio River. 

In total, 26 barges broke loose; 23 were loaded and three were empty. Those that were loaded had dry cargo such as coal, and no hazardous materials on board. There have been no reports of people injured, but Peggy's Marina sustained extensive damage. 

Eleven of the barges have been located and pinned against the river bank by Brunot Island and currently being held by a tugboat. Fourteen continued down the river and six have gone over the Emsworth Dam. 

The barges are owned or operated by Campbell Transportation Company located on the left descending bank of the Ohio River, just downstream from the McKees Rocks Bridge.

The McKees Rocks Bridge was closed in both directions and rail traffic was shut down on the rail bridge to Brunot Island. Both will be reopened when it is determined that it is safe to do so.

The Coast Guard, Pennsylvania State Police, and various law enforcement, EMS agencies, and fire departments in neighboring jurisdictions have been notified.

At this time, any further questions should be directed to Campbell Transportation Company or the Coast Guard as this emergency has moved out of the jurisdiction of Pittsburgh Public Safety.


Reporting PIO:
Cara Cruz