Official cause of ‘runaway’ unmanned barge still unclear

Local News
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The cause of Friday night’s “runaway river barge” is still being investigated by authorities; as well as looking to discover its owner. 

The unmanned barge caused some major traffic delays Friday night as authorities with the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol worked to stop both directions of traffic on I-75 in Loudon County near the Tennessee River bridge as a precaution. 

The barge, which was reportedly carrying 200,000 pounds of cargo, was stopped some 600-plus yards from colliding with the bridge. 

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According to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office’s David Moss, the barge came out of Fort Loudoun Terminal on the Tennessee River, but officials still don’t know who owns the barge. 

“The barge was docked and became free after the rope or cable broke in half,” according to Moss. “There were a total of three ropes and cables that were broken.”

Moss says that the only damage he knows of that the runaway barge caused was to a boat dock in Loudon County.

No other damage was reported.

The Fort Loudoun Terminal has been in operation for many years and this runaway barge incident was the first time something like that has happened, according to authorities. 

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