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Coast Guard investigating how barges broke free on Ohio River

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Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 3:50 p.m.

The Coast Guard is investigating how three barges loaded with coal broke free from a towboat near Brunot Island in the Ohio River on Thursday afternoon.

Authorities said the tug crew was able to quickly corral two of the barges near the pier of the CSX railroad bridge that spans the Ohio to Brunot. The incident occured shortly before 3:30 p.m.

The tow operator was able to prevent the third barge from heading down the river toward the Emsworth Dam by pinning it against the bridge pier, according to Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Alanna McGovern.

There were no injuries reported. No information was available on whether the barges or bridge piers were damaged.

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