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Seattle tunnel barge spills soil into Elliott Bay

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SEATTLE (AP) — A barge carrying soil that was pulled from the Seattle tunnel project spilled some of its load into Elliott Bay before drifting into a nearby pier.

Washington state transportation officials say the accident happened on Tuesday morning when a Seattle Tunnel Partners barge began to lean to one side while crews loaded it with soils.

In order to prevent damage to the conveyor system, workers released the barge from its moorage at Terminal 46. That's when some of the soil spilled into the bay.

The barge drifted into Pier 48, which is owned by the state and is slated for demolition.

Workers have since moved the barge to the west end of Terminal 46 and will transfer its load to another barge. The contractor is inspecting the terminal and pier for damage.

Tunnel evacuation was put on hold during the process.