Barge strikes Galveston bridge, causing oil spill, power outage, and traffic shutdown

May 15, 2024 | U.S. | 0 comments

A barge has caused a major disturbance to those in the Galveston, Texas, area after it struck a bridge connecting Galveston to Pelican Island, leaving those on the island stranded and temporarily without power.

‘Nearly seven miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway had to be shut down because of an oil spill from the barge.’

Just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a tugboat pushing two barges lost control, causing one barge — owned by Martin Petroleum — to strike the unused railroad track that runs along the Pelican Island Causeway as well as two telephone poles.

“The current was very bad, and the tide was high. He lost it,” said David Flores, a bridge superintendent with the Galveston County Navigation District.

The causeway is the only means for motor vehicles to access Pelican Island, the home of Texas A&M University at Galveston.

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The collision caused a portion of the rail track to collapse onto the barge. Two individuals on the barge either fell or jumped into the water as a result of the accident, but they were quickly rescued. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported.

The accident also caused a number of inconveniences for those on land. For one thing, the bridge had to be closed for hours, leaving Pelican Island residents stranded. Officials have considered evacuating the island by boat, though whether any residents have yet been removed from it is unclear.

Pelican Island also lost power for some time after the crash, though a secondary source soon restored power by 1 p.m. TAMU at Galveston likely has few people on campus, as graduation was held earlier this month, but the university did offer Captain’s Landing as a location where those still on campus can access food.

Finally, six and a half miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway had to be shut down because of an oil spill from the barge. The barge has an oil capacity of 30,000 gallons and was leaking what has been described as “vacuum gas oil.” The extent of the oil spill has not yet been determined, but officials with the U.S. Coast Guard are assessing the situation and are expected give an update and a report about containment measures soon.

Folks in Galveston can still drive along Harborside Drive, though police are in the area to divert traffic from the bridge. One lane of the bridge has already reportedly been reopened, but officials with the Texas Department of Transportation will determine when regular traffic may safely resume.

Martin Petroleum Corp. did not respond to phone calls from Reuters seeking comment.

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A barge has caused a major disturbance to those in the Galveston, Texas, area after it struck a bridge connecting Galveston to Pelican Island, leaving those on the island stranded and temporarily without power.’Nearly seven miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway had to be shut down because of an oil spill from the barge.’Just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a tugboat pushing two barges lost control, causing one barge — owned by Martin Petroleum — to strike the unused railroad track that runs along the Pelican Island Causeway as well as two telephone poles. “The current was very bad, and the tide was high. He lost it,” said David Flores, a bridge superintendent with the Galveston County Navigation District.The causeway is the only means for motor vehicles to access Pelican Island, the home of Texas A&M University at Galveston.
— (@)

The collision caused a portion of the rail track to collapse onto the barge. Two individuals on the barge either fell or jumped into the water as a result of the accident, but they were quickly rescued. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported.The accident also caused a number of inconveniences for those on land. For one thing, the bridge had to be closed for hours, leaving Pelican Island residents stranded. Officials have considered evacuating the island by boat, though whether any residents have yet been removed from it is unclear. Pelican Island also lost power for some time after the crash, though a secondary source soon restored power by 1 p.m. TAMU at Galveston likely has few people on campus, as graduation was held earlier this month, but the university did offer Captain’s Landing as a location where those still on campus can access food.Finally, six and a half miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway had to be shut down because of an oil spill from the barge. The barge has an oil capacity of 30,000 gallons and was leaking what has been described as “vacuum gas oil.” The extent of the oil spill has not yet been determined, but officials with the U.S. Coast Guard are assessing the situation and are expected give an update and a report about containment measures soon.Folks in Galveston can still drive along Harborside Drive, though police are in the area to divert traffic from the bridge. One lane of the bridge has already reportedly been reopened, but officials with the Texas Department of Transportation will determine when regular traffic may safely resume.Martin Petroleum Corp. did not respond to phone calls from Reuters seeking comment.Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here![#item_full_content]

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