PITTSBURGH - A tanker carrying millions of barrels filled with a highly toxic mixture of petroleum, insecticide, pesticide and radioactive nuclear waste rammed one of the columns of the Rachel Carson Bridge Sunday morning. “The Edmund Fitzgerald Jr.,” bound for the Chem-Lawn Warehouse on Neville Island, sank in less than five minutes. There are reports the captain of the vessel was traveling at a high rate of speed in an effort to get his cargo to the warehouse before dandelions and other grass-defiling plants take root in suburban lawns.
Phone calls to the Chem-Lawn Warehouse were not returned.
The incident occurred a year to the day the Ninth Street Bridge was renamed to honor the legacy of the local woman whose books, “Silent Spring” and “Silent Spring, Part Two” helped raise public awareness of environmental issues. The renaming was consistent with Western Pennsylvania's official policy of only renaming structures for Pittsburghers who fled the city prior to or upon achieving fame.
Allegheny County River Force Chairman John Craig said the effects of the spill on fish and plant life along the river would be “devastating.”
“Even worse,” Craig added, “We now have to be concerned about the possibility of hideous, menacing, genetic mutations forming from the combination of nuclear waste and aquatic life. If you’ve ever seen The Beast From Twenty Thousand Fathoms, you know what I'm talking about," he winked.
In an effort to calm a jittery public, Mayor Ravenstahl asked Police Chief Nate Harper to institute riverfront police patrols in an effort to thwart potential riverfront assaults on citizens from any homicidal Monster-Fish that may emerge from the water. Cleanup from the accident, according to a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, is expected to take years.