Barge Hits Bridge; Railroad Collapses (Video)

( – In a massive new incident involving a ship crashing into a bridge, a road and railroad bridge that serves as a connection between Galveston, Texas, and an adjacent island was compromised when a barge collided with it, with part of the rail section collapsing.

See a video of the incident’s aftermath in the tweet below!

The incident on Wednesday morning led to an oil spill and necessitated the closure of the bridge by local authorities.

The incident occurred at approximately 9:50 a.m. when a tugboat, while maneuvering backwards from a nearby fuel storage facility, failed to maintain control over two barges it was managing, as reported by the Associated Press.

Fortunately, there were no casualties reported. However, two crew members were rescued after falling overboard, according to Fox 26, cited by National Review.

In response to the situation, those stranded on Pelican Island, where a Texas A&M satellite campus is located, “will be removed by boat,” stated Galveston County Judge Mark Henry.

Subsequently, the university canceled classes for the few students who remained on campus.

The Texas Department of Transportation is currently evaluating the structural damage caused by the barge impact, stated the Galveston County’s Office of Emergency Management.

Both vehicle and marine traffic were suspended earlier today. Social media uploads depicted a section of the railroad tracks adjacent to the bridge as having collapsed due to the collision.

Local emergency management teams in Galveston, in collaboration with state authorities, are addressing the aftermath of the incident.

The U.S. Coast Guard is present at the scene, assessing the extent of environmental pollution. The island experienced a temporary power outage as well.

The bridge, which was inaugurated in 1960, was designated as being in “poor” condition last year by officials from the Federal Highway Administration.

A 2011 analysis recorded approximately 9,100 daily vehicle crossings on the bridge.

The barge involved was capable of carrying about 30,000 gallons of vacuum gas oil—a substance used in the production of various transportation fuels and derivatives—which is now contaminating the water, although the exact volume of the spill remains undetermined.

Due to the spill, a 6.5-mile segment of the Intracoastal Waterway has been closed.

An earlier incident this year involved the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge after a collision with a container ship that had lost power during the early morning hours.

This disaster resulted in the deaths of six individuals and caused a major emergency response from both federal and state agencies.

A Mayday call from the crew, issued just before the bridge’s collapse, was crucial in alerting transportation officials, potentially saving additional lives.

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