Home News Barge slams into bridge in Texas, structural damaged and oil spill reported

Barge slams into bridge in Texas, structural damaged and oil spill reported

A barge slammed into a bridge in Texas Wednesday morning, significantly damaging the structure and spilling oil into the water.

The barge collided with the Seawolf Parkway Bridge in Galveston — about 50 miles southeast of Houston — around 9:30 a.m. local time, a spokesperson for the Galveston Office of Emergency Management said.

The bridge, which connects the city to Pelican Island in Galveston Bay, is closed to all traffic in both directions while the damage is assessed and the oil spill is contained and cleaned up. The bridge is the only way on or off the tiny island by car.

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told KTRK that a large piece of the bridge fell, while the oil spill spanned more than 300 feet.

David Flores, a navigation district bridge operator who witnessed the crash, told the Houston Chronicle the barge was being towed by a tugboat but plowed into the bridge after getting caught in the current.

“I’ve been on the waterfront for 43 years and this is the worst accident I’ve seen,” Flores told the paper. “This is a pretty bad one.”

The crew members onboard were either thrown from the barge in the collision or jumped off. However, no injuries or missing persons were reported.

The barge has a capacity of 30,000 gallons of oil but it’s unclear how much it was carrying at the time of the crash and or exactly how much had leaked.

The U.S. Coast Guard decided to close a small stretch of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway since the oil spill was flowing in that direction, causing a major disruption to maritime traffic in the area.

The bridge, which was constructed in 1960, is nearly 4,000 feet long but has deteriorated. Construction on a replacement bridge was scheduled to begin in 2025.

The collision comes nearly two months after a container ship struck Baltimore’s Key Bridge, killing six construction workers.


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