Barge causes oil spill when it hits bridge in Galveston, Texas



galveston bridge barge oil spill 051524 AP

A barge caused an oil spill after slamming into a bridge in Galveston, Texas on Wednesday, according to local officials.

The Pelican Island Bridge has been closed to all traffic since about 10 a.m. local time, according to the city of Galveston’s website. The city reported that there were no injuries from the incident.

The city said that the collision resulted in an oil spill in Galveston Bay, which the U.S. Coast Guard is responding to. The city added that the Coast Guard “will determine the extent of the spill, as well as initiate the containment and cleanup processes.”

Emergency management officials from Galveston, the state and Texas A&M University’s Galveston campus are also responding to the incident, as well as the local fire and police departments and the Texas Department of Transportation, according to the city.

Engineers from the Texas Department of Transportation will be inspecting the roadway to determine whether there is damage, it added.

Texas A&M University at Galveston said in an online statement that the bridge “is closed to all traffic at this time due to a barge strike.”

“Power has been restored to campus. However, the bridge remains out and is closed to all vehicular traffic. The Galveston Campus Incident Command Team has been established, and we are working with city, county, and state officials to determine impacts to campus,” the alert said.

Ronnie Varela, who works with Galveston’s Office of Emergency Management, said the barge struck the bridge at around 9:30 a.m. local time, according to The Associated Press.

The collision comes more than a month after a shipping vessel slammed into the Baltimore Key Bridge in late March, causing the entire structure to collapse. Six of the eight construction workers on the bridge that night were killed in the collapse.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing Wednesday morning to hear from federal officials regarding the Baltimore bridge collapse.





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