NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – An early morning barge incident at the Newburgh Locks and Dam closed traffic on the Ohio River as crews raced to clear the barges. The accident occurred around 1am Tuesday when a Marquette tow boat lost steering control, which caused the vessel to lose control of the 11 barges it was towing.
Eight of the barges were strung across the dam, while three remaining barges continued down stream. Those three were later recovered by another vessel. According to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, no injuries were reported and all personnel were accounted for.
Tow boats spent much of the afternoon hours pulling the barges and securing them along the locks in Newburgh. Many residents, including Mike Setzekorn of Newburgh, convened along the Ohio River to witness the scene for themselves.
“Wow, it’s a big mess,” says Setzekorn, who heard of the incident through social media, and decided to visit the scene to assess the situation first-hand.
“I’ve been here for 17 years and never seen something like this.”
The barges that were blocking the dam were pulled and secured by 4:30pm Tuesday afternoon.