Barge hits Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, damaging structure and causing oil spill

GALVESTON, Texas —A barge hit a bridge in Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a small island, officials said.

The bridge that leads to Pelican Island, located just north of Galveston, was hit by a barge around 9:30 a.m., said Ronnie Varela, with the Galveston’s Office of Emergency Management.

Varela did not have any immediate information on damage to the bridge or if there were any injuries. Aerial video showed portions of a rail line that runs parallel to the bridge on top of the barge. The rail line is no longer in service.

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Varela said the collision caused an oil spill and that crews were working to clean it up.

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told KTRK that a large piece of the bridge fell. Pictures broadcast by KTRK showed pieces of concrete on the barge.

In an online statement, Texas A&M University at Galveston said: “The Pelican Island Bridge is closed to all traffic at this time due to a barge strike. Electricity has been restored and additional updates will be provided as the situation unfolds.”

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