UPDATE: Gorge Waterway Response

UPDATE:  August 29, 2015 at 1:20 p.m.

A multi-agency effort is underway to coordinate cleanup of the fallen debris in the Gorge Waterway.

Wind and tides continue to be factors in what may take several days to fully complete.

A series of new barges are now arriving to remove debris from the barge in order to stabilize access to the area.

Schnitzer Steel Industries issued the following statement today:

"On Friday August 28, 2015, a barge being loaded at our Victoria, British Columbia facility took on a significant list, causing a portion of the loaded material to fall into the water. There have been no injuries to any personnel. We are actively cooperating with all appropriate authorities to ensure we manage the situation to a conclusion in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We have engaged experts in relevant fields including marine design and environmental protection to direct our response efforts. All material is being actively managed and contained, and all car bodies were drained of all fluids prior to being loaded onto the barge, per our standard practice. Our focus is on maintaining the safety of all involved and minimizing environmental impacts throughout the response. Once the barge has been further stabilized, we will continue with appropriate clean up efforts, including removal of material from the water."

 

Posted August 28, 2015:

Late Friday afternoon, a barge tipped in the Gorge Waterway as it was being loaded with wrecked cars on the barge for transport.  

Fortunately, no one was injured. Victoria Fire and Police both responded immediately.  The Victoria Fire Department will remain on scene to provide support with the Fire Boat. 

As a result of the incident, there is a lot of garbage and an unconfirmed number of cars in the water, as well as reports of an oil sheen on the surface of the water. 

Worksafe BC and  the Ministry of Environment are involved. The City is on scene to provide support for clean up on shore and Public Works staff will provide support as needed.