Bridge Struck in Texas Causing Massive Oil Spill

Bridge Struck in Texas Causing Massive Oil Spill

( – On May 15, a tugboat was pushing two barges, one of which struck the bridge to Pelican Island, just north of the island of Galveston, Texas. The barge contained fuel for ships, and when the accident happened, not only did it cause damage to the bridge, it also spilled an unknown amount of oil into the bay.

According to the bridge superintendent, David Flores, the bridge is the only roadway that connects the island with Galveston, and it also features a rail line that serves as its protection. He stated that the incident happened around 9:50 a.m. while the tugboat was leaving the fuel storage area of the Texas International Terminal. Flores said that the tide was high, and the current caused the loss of control of the tugboat as it struck the bridge.

The oil cleanup has closed the bay, and engineers from the DOT of Texas are also inspecting the bridge damage, according to officials. The collapse of the rail line resulted in slabs of concrete and other debris falling onto the barge. The DOT will inspect the bridge’s roadway for damage, but it will remain closed until further notice.

The spokesman for Galveston County, Spencer Lewis, stated that the barge can hold 30,000 gallons of oil, but it’s unclear how much has spilled into the bay. The cleanup process has closed nearly 6.5 miles of the waterway. According to Judge Mark Henry from Galveston County, the closed waterway shouldn’t necessarily impact commerce on the water because it’s fairly isolated. The Houston Ship Channel and the intracoastal waterway do not use that area.

The crash did not result in any injuries, but it did throw one individual from the barge into the water. Major Ray Nolen of the Galveston County sheriff’s office stated that they quickly retrieved the person without any reported injuries.

Pelican Island is home to Texas A&M University, a large shipyard, and Seawolf Park. Following the incident, the island allowed some traffic to exit on the roadway, but subsequently closed it for damage inspection.

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