WASHINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Three barges remained settled against the lower McAlpine Dam structure along the Ohio River of the United States as of Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The city government of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, said in a release that crews are further assessing damage and determining operational objectives for the next 12 to 24 hours.
The cargo carried aboard the barges is corn, and one vessel with three independent cargo holds contains approximately 1,400 tons of methanol, a water-soluble, colorless liquid.
Methanol evaporates when exposed to air, quickly dissolves in water, and is readily biodegradable. It is potentially harmful if ingested or inhaled in sufficient quantities.
The city government of Louisville stated that the methanol contained within the vessel does not pose a risk to the surrounding air or water supply in the greater Louisville area.
There remains no evidence of a tank breach or any leaks, and air and water monitoring resources are in place, according to the government.
The U.S. Coast Guard is said to be investigating the incident. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet will continue sampling the Ohio River downstream from the dam, according to local authorities.