Barge Spills Load Into B.C. Waters For 2nd Time In A Month

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HEILTSUK BARGE SPILL
Heiltsuk Nation
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BELLA BELLA, B.C. — The Heiltsuk Nation in British Columbia says a barge has flipped and sunk not far from the site where a tug that ran aground last month still awaits removal.

A news release from the First Nation says the barge, which was carrying gravel and sand from Seattle to Alaska, flipped Sunday evening in a channel along B.C.'s central coast.

The 37-metre tugboat that was towing the barge was still afloat Sunday night, and the four crew members on the barge are safe.

The sinking comes less than four weeks after the tugboat Nathan E. Stewart ran aground near Bella Bella, B.C., spilling diesel fuel into the water.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make an announcement in Vancouver today about how tanker and fuel spills along the West Coast will be responded to in the future.

Heiltsuk member Jess Housty, who is part of the diesel spill response team, says with two incidents involving sinking vessels, Trudeau's promised regulatory changes couldn't come soon enough.

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