1972 Louisville Chlorine Spill

A Liquid Chlorine Barge, After Breaking Loose From Its Tug Became Lodged Against The Mcalpine Dam On The Ohio River And Could Not Be Set Free, March 1972. Images from the US National Archives.

Louisville Mayor Frank Burke Ordered 4,800 Residents Of The Waterfront Area Known As Portland, To Evacuate; And Another 22,000 People Were Asked To Leave Voluntarily When A Barge Carrying Liquid Chlorine Threatened To Spill Its Poisonous Contents Among The Evacuees Were 31 Patients From The Louisville Memorial Hospital, April 1972.

Louisville Mayor Frank Burke Ordered 4,800 Residents Of The Waterfront Area Known As Portland, To Evacuate; And Another 22,000 People Were Asked To Leave Voluntarily When A Barge Carrying Liquid Chlorine Threatened To Spill Its Poisonous Contents Among The Evacuees Were 31 Patients From The Louisville Memorial Hospital, April 1972.

A Worried Mother And Her Child Leave Louisville By Bus When The City Was Evacuated. Evacuation Centers Were Set Up When A Barge Carrying Liquid Chlorine Broke Loose From Its Tug And Threatened To Spill Its Poisonous Contents. The Barge Carried Enough Liquid Chlorine To Devastate Much Of The City Of Louisville, March 1972.

From Disaster Research Center, Aug 1972:

At approximately 5:15 a.m. on March 19, 1972, a southbound tow of nine barges hit the head of Shippingport Island in the Ohio River, an area just north of the heart: of Louisville, Kentucky. Upon ramming the island, four of the nine barges broke loose and drifted downstream on the north side of Shippingport Island through an area known as the Falls of the Ohio. [One] barge was immediately recovered; a second barge with a cargo of chrome ore was lost and presumed sunk; a third barge laden with sulfuric acid came to rest next to a hydroelectric plant making up part of McAlpine Dam and wag retrieved some days later. The fourth barge, and the one of concern in this study, carrying 640 tons of liquid chlorine in four pressurized cylinders, lodged partly submerged in the second of four tainter gates in the McAlpine Dam. 

by John S. Fitzpatrick & Jerry J. Waxman

Shop Is Evacuated When A Barge Carrying Liquid Chlorine Threatened To Spill Its Poisonous Contents. Liquid Chlorine Is Stored Under Pressure, And If A Leak Occurs, It Changes Into A Poisonous Gas The Barge Carried Enough Liquid Chlorine To Devastate Much Of The City Of Louisville, April 1972

An Evacuation Center Set Up Outside The City Of Louisville To House Those Fleeing A Potential Disaster. A Liquid Chlorine Barge Threatened To Spill Enough Poison Gas To Devastate Much Of The City, June 1972

A Nurse Helps An Elderly Patient Leave Louisville Memorial Hospital. A Liquid Chlorine Barge On The Ohio River Had Broken Loose From Its Tug And Threatened To Spill Its Poisonous Contents. The Area Was Evacuated For 24 Hours Until The Barge Was Stabilized, March 1972.

Police And National Guardsmen Maintain Law And Order During The Evacuation. More Than 26,000 People Were Asked To Leave The Area When A Liquid Chlorine Barge Threatened To Spill Its Poisonous Contents, June 1972.