Human error causes barge to crack in half, releasing fertilizer

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Barge hazmat

HMN-Around 400,000 gallons of fertilizer were released into the Ohio river after “human error” lead to a barge cracking in half.  The plume of fertilizer, which was carried down the river in late February, stretched from Cincinnati to Louisville. (WDTN)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A barge that cracked in half on the Ohio River released more than 400,000 gallons of fertilizer, and now the boat’s owners say “human error” caused the spill.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday that Kentucky issued three environmental violation notices in January for the spill to the Memphis, Tennessee company that owns the barge. Southern Towing released information at Kentucky’s request saying a tankerman unloaded the fertilizer Dec. 19 in a way that weight became concentrated in the middle of the barge.

The river’s current took the plume of fertilizer from Cincinnati to Louisville. Southern Towing’s Feb. 21 response to Kentucky denied the company violated the state’s water statutes.

Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection spokesman John Mura says the state hasn’t yet determined whether to fine Southern Towing.

One comment

  1. It might benefit the rest of us to have a bit more information than that the cause was “Human Error.” Knowing the cause of a problem is often useful in avoiding repeating the error. Learning from other people’s mistakes is a much less painful way of gaining knowledge than making the same mistakes ourselves.

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