Sunken scrap cars must be removed from Tacoma bay

Vehicles came from Vancouver area

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TACOMA — The Washington Ecology Department says scrapped cars that fell off a listing barge into Tacoma's Commencement Bay must be removed.

Spokeswoman Linda Kent said Wednesday there had been some thought to leaving the six to 10 crushed cars on the bottom, but there's a risk of pollution from residual oils and other concerns. Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Toni Droscher says they are on state-owned aquatic land.

Kent says the barge company, Amix Marine Services of Surrey, British Columbia, is responsible for pulling the cars out of 240 feet of water.

The load of flattened cars from the Vancouver area was taken to the Schnitzer Steel recycling yard in Tacoma.

The barge sprang a leak, tilted and lost part of its load Sunday. Divers repaired a 15-inch crack.