Crews plan to pump oil cargo from sunken barge in Lake Erie

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Salvage crews are making plans to pump a hazardous oil-based substance from a sunken barge that likely has been sitting on the bottom of Lake Erie since the late 1930s.

Preparation is underway to start assembling the pumps near the end of the week.

Crews working with the U.S. Coast Guard have been monitoring the site near the U.S.-Canadian border since discovering a small leak in October.

It appeared to be coming from a barge that sank during a storm in 1937 and is on a federal registry of the most serious pollution threats to U.S. waters.

Tests have determined that the substance is benzol, which is used in many petroleum products.

The wreckage was first discovered in late August by a shipwreck hunter in Lake Erie.