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Barge with explosive ordnance, vehicles aground on Belle Rock

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Washington Dept. of Ecology and several other agencies are responding to a dry-cargo barge that ran aground five miles southwest of Anacortes, Wash., in Rosario Strait, Monday.

U.S. Coast Guard video can be viewed here.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, in Seattle, received a report at approximately 5:45 a.m., stating the barge had run aground on Belle Rock near Anacortes.

The 322-foot barge St. Elias was being towed south through Rosario Strait by the 101-foot tug Henry Brusco. St. Elias' cargo, which is being transported in approximately 100 containers, includes explosive ordinance, several vehicles and various other items.

An HH-65 helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., conducted an over flight and reported no pollution. A Station Bellingham, Wash., small boat crew is on-scene. U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician members and a Coast Guard inspector are on board the barge conducting a safety assessment.

The explosives appear to be secure, but as a precaution, a 2,000-yard safety zone has been established in the area around Belle Rock. Mariners transiting Rosario Strait near Belle Rock are urged to use caution. As an additional precaution, containment boom has been deployed around the barge.

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