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Report Blames Weather, Maintenance For 2018 Barge Breakaway

Keith Srakocic
Pleasure boats move along the surface of the Ohio River near the West End Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Pittsburgh.

A new report blames wintry weather conditions and poor maintenance for an incident in January 2018 in which 27 barges broke away on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh.

The National Transportation Safety Board's marine accident brief released Thursday said the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority and Industry Terminal and Salvage Company did not properly maintain mooring cells or prevent river shoaling.

The report also says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard don't have enough resources or authority to inspect areas where companies park barges to be made up, broken down or reconfigured.

Damage was nearly $13 million, including the destruction of nine barges.

A sanitary authority spokesman offered no immediate comment. The president of Industry Terminal and Salvage Company declined comment.