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Barge sinks in Chicago River

A barge sank Friday afternoon in the Chicago River as it was being loaded with river sediment at a construction site.

About 1:15 p.m., the barge, loaded with 750 yards of clay broke free from its mooring and sank between the Lake and Randolph Street bridges, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

No one was hurt and there are no reports of pollution, fire and Coast Guard officials said.

River traffic was closed between the bridges until about 7:30 p.m., officials said.

The barge incident halted Chicago Water Taxi service for about 90 minutes, said spokesman Andrew Sargis. About a dozen runs were canceled, he added, before service resumed about 2:30 p.m.

A spokesman for Clark Construction Group said the barge was part of the company’s construction project, but that it was not owned by Clark.

RELATED: Construction barge sinks in Chicago River in July

One witness, John Madsen, said he was on a bridge, watching concrete being poured at a construction site.

“All of a sudden there was a loud snap,” Madsen said.

After that loud metallic snap, the barge started taking on water, and within a matter of a few minutes, most of it was submerged, Madsen said.

The sight drew dozens of spectators to the Randolph and Lake bridges.

Contributing: Luke Wilusz

The submerged barge caused dozens of people to stop and gawk from nearby bridges. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times