Barge Hits Bridge in Galveston, Texas Causing Partial Collapse, Oil Spill

By Madz Dizon

May 16, 2024 12:12 AM EDT

Barge Hits Bridge in Galveston, Texas Causing Partial Collapse, Oil Spill(Jon Cherry/Getty Images) (Credit: Getty Image)

An incident occurred in Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, where a barge collided with a bridge pillar. 

This collision resulted in the spillage of oil into the nearby waters, which are frequently used by shipping vessels, causing the only road leading to a small neighboring island had to be closed. 

Bridge Debris Closes Galveston Waterway

Pieces of the bridge connecting Galveston to Pelican Island were sent tumbling onto a barge due to the impact, resulting in the closure of a section of the waterway for cleanup. 

According to Galveston County Sheriff's Office Maj. Ray Nolen, a man was knocked off the vessel during the accident, but fortunately, he was quickly recovered and did not sustain any injuries.

An accident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. when a tugboat operator lost control of two barges he was pushing as per AP reported.

The barge has a capacity of 30,000 gallons, and the exact amount of oil that spilled into Galveston Bay remains uncertain, according to the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management's social media update.

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Vessel Traffic Halted for Bridge Damage Assessment

According to county officials, vessel traffic in the channel was temporarily halted while the Texas Transportation Department assessed the structural damage to the bridge. 

The New York Times reported that the cause of the accident remains unknown at this time. There was a temporary interruption of power on Pelican Island, but it was restored by Wednesday afternoon .

A section of a dilapidated railroad bridge that had collapsed next to the causeway.  There was a significant amount of concrete and metal blocking the front of the barge, while a steady stream of oil flowed out into Galveston Bay. 

Emergency responders quickly assembled on the road, while live footage captured the arrival of pickup trucks on the bridge.

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