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Sugar barge hits bridge pillar in Chao Phraya river, but causes no water pollution

A sugar barge with 1,200 tons of sugar accidentally hit a pillar of a bridge over the Chao Phraya river Monday morning leaking some of it's cargo into the water.

The accident prompted immediate action by all relevant government agencies to prevent similar incident six years ago when a sugar barge sank in the river causing a large number of marine lives to die from water pollution.

The latest incident happened early Monday in Bang Pa-in district of Ayutthaya province.

The TMS steel barge is among four barges towed by a tugboat from Ang Thong Sugar Terminal in Ang Thong to deliver sugar to Koh Rien in Ayutthaya.

But as the four barges arrived at the bridge, one of them hit the pillar, and sprang a leak on the right hull of the barge.

However no one was injured in the accident.

Environmentalists were then alerted of possible pollution that had caused catastrophe to fish farms along the river six years ago.

Authorities and boat men immediately detached the damaged barge from the three others and pulled it aground, away from the main channel, near the Suwan Kliawthong pier in Bang Sai district.

Divers were sent to plug the hole and the 1,200 tonnes of sugar were being transferred to another barge.

The Marine Department late today said there was no leak of sugar from the damaged barge and there was no water pollution as feared.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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