Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Barge Collides into Bridge off Texas Coast

Thu 16 May 2024 | 10:16 AM
Israa Farhan

A ship collided with the bridge connecting Pelican Island to the city of Galveston, Texas, resulting in an oil spill and significant structural damage, leading to the closure of the bridge to traffic.

The incident occurred around 10 a.m. local time. According to Galveston city officials, no injuries have been reported. Footage aired by CBS showed part of a railway track along the bridge collapsing due to the impact.

The ship, owned by Martin Petroleum as per Galveston’s emergency management department, remains at the collision site.

Galveston officials reported that the collision caused an oil spill in Galveston Bay. The Coast Guard is actively working to contain the spill and assess its extent.

The vessel involved has a capacity of approximately 30,000 gallons (over 113,000 liters), though the exact amount of oil that leaked into the water is still unknown. The crash also briefly caused a power outage on Pelican Island.

Pelican Island, home to about 9,000 residents and Texas A&M University at Galveston, relies on the bridge for connectivity with the mainland.

Engineers from the Texas Department of Transportation are currently inspecting the bridge to determine the extent of the damage. The bridge will remain closed until it is deemed safe for use.

This incident follows a similar accident a few weeks ago, when a ship struck the Baltimore Harbor Bridge, resulting in the deaths of six workers. 

On March 26, a vessel veered towards the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore due to propulsion issues. 

The captain's distress call led to the halting of some road traffic before the collision at 1:30 a.m., which caused the structure to collapse, resulting in fatalities.

The ship in the Baltimore incident remained stuck at the site with part of the collapsed bridge, disrupting marine traffic in one of America's busiest ports.