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City barge involved in crash back on river

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The Philadelphia barge involved in the fatal crash with a duck boat earlier this month is back in operation…with a new tugboat pushing it for now.

The sewage sludge had been piling up in Northeast Philadelphia, forcing the city to hire a new tugboat to push its sludge barge to a Southwest Philadelphia processing plant.  Mayor Michael Nutter’s spokesman Doug Oliver says the city has switched tugboat companies for now and has added a new provision in the contract.

“The new operator will insure that there is a man on the barge and has radio capabilities which gives it visibility because tugboats are typically behind the barge,” Oliver said.  “The new arrangement was not in the original contract it is now in the new contract.”

Oliver says the sludge started moving again last Thursday, and the contract is month to month until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation of who is to blame for the fatal accident.

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