Families: Barge caused fatal capsize; company denies fault

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Family members of five people who died when a boat capsized on the Ohio River say in federal court documents that the placement and condition of a construction barge caused the tragedy.

Walsh Construction Company says in court filings that it is the barge’s owner. The Chicago-based company says it is not responsible for the crash and asks a judge to exonerate or limit its liability under maritime law.

Nine people, including five children, were aboard a pontoon boat July 4 to watch fireworks. The river’s rushing current slammed the boat into a barge.

The boat capsized, and five people drowned. Three children and an adult were able to make it to safety.

(This corrects a previous version of the story to say family members of five victims, not four, say the barge caused the tragedy.)

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