Galveston bridge collapses as barge crashes, leading to oil spill in water

A cargo ship collided with a Texas bridge on Wednesday morning, causing traffic to come to a halt for residents traveling to and from a small island. Authorities are currently assessing the bridge’s structural integrity to ensure it won’t collapse.

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office reported that the incident occurred at approximately 10 am. As a result of the strike, a section of the railway line connected to the Pelican Island Causeway fell into the water. Fortunately, the bridge itself seems to be undamaged, and there have been no reported injuries.

According to the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management, an incident occurred that led to a spill of vacuum gas oil. The exact amount of oil that has leaked into the water remains unknown. Currently, emergency responders are diligently working to clean up the spilled fluids from the Galveston Channel.

Traffic on the island was initially closed in both directions, but it has now been opened for vehicles attempting to leave. Vessel traffic in the water, however, remains closed.

The Texas Department of Transportation is currently assessing the structural impact on the bridge. According to the office of emergency management, Galveston County and their partners will continue to evaluate the situation. Additional agencies, such as the US Coast Guard, have been summoned to the scene.

According to David Flores, the superintendent in charge of the Pelican Island Causeway under the Galveston County Navigation District, a pushboat that was maneuvering two barges from Texas International Terminals encountered a loss of control, resulting in a collision with an electrical line and subsequently igniting a fire.

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According to the official, the accident may have been caused by high tides and strong currents. Additionally, he mentioned that traffic is gradually returning to normal.

The superintendent explained that the only way to leave the island was by allowing one car at a time to go off.

According to Mr. Flores, the partially collapsed railway is not a danger as it was never operational. After the incident, a portion of the structure could be observed resting on the barge.

The Pelican Island Causeway serves as the sole access point to Pelican Island, where the Texas A&M University at Galveston campus is located. According to Taylor Bounds, a university spokesperson, there were 180 students, faculty, and staff present on campus at the time of the incident.

The campus experienced a power outage soon after the bridge strike, but the issue was promptly resolved and electricity was restored.

According to a report published by the Texas Department of Transportation last year, it was discovered that the bridge had the potential to be struck. Previously, the department had announced its plans to begin replacing the bridge within the next two years.

Seawolf Park, a memorial to USS Seawolf, and numerous maritime industry companies are situated on the island, which is home to approximately 10,000 residents.

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