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DEVELOPING: Barge Crashes Into Bridge In Galveston, Causes Oil Spill And Waterway Closure

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A barge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge in Galveston, Texas, causing an oil spill and damaging a portion of the bridge.

The incident caused approximately six miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to shut down.

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Galveston County officials said evacuations are underway for anyone who needs to leave Pelican Island but might not be able to return soon.

The bridge is the only way on and off Pelican Island.

“Earlier today an 30,000 Gallon Oil Barge reportedly Broke Loose from a Towline and Slammed into the Pelican Island Causeway Bridge in Galveston, Texas; resulting in an Unused Railroad Bridge which runs alongside the Causeway to Partially Collapse as well as for a Small Oil Spill to occur within the Bay. The Causeway has been Closed to Vehicle Traffic until the Structural Integrity of the Bridge can be Checked,” OSINTdefender wrote.

ABC 13 reports:

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is shut down for approximately 6.5 miles between marker 350.5 to 357 as officials respond to this incident, County Judge Mark Henry said, adding that the oil spill is heading in that direction, so the U.S. Coast Guard decided to move forward with the closure.

The closure is a major setback for operations as significant maritime commercial traffic uses the waterway along the Texas coast.

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FOX 7 Austin noted:

One lane of the Pelican Island Bridge is now open after a barge struck it on Wednesday morning.

The bridge connects Pelican Island to Galveston, and Pelican Island was inaccessible by vehicle.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry says the people stranded on the island will be removed by boat.

Galveston officials say there were no reports of injuries in the collision that occurred around 10 a.m. However, Judge Henry says two crew members did go overboard but were recovered from the water.

SkyFOX video from the scene shows that debris from the bridge, including a section of the railroad tracks, fell onto the barge.

Judge Henry says the collision resulted in a spill of vacuum gas oil. The barge reportedly has a 30,000-gallon capacity, but the county judge says it’s not known at this time how much oil was on board.

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