A barge crash on the Pelican Island Bridge in Texas made headlines on Wednesday, causing significant damage to the bridge and leading to an oil spill, according to Fox 7 Austin. The collision occurred around 10 a.m. and resulted in a section of the bridge, including the railroad tracks, collapsing onto the barge. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries in the incident.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry shared that although two crew members went overboard during the crash, they were safely recovered from the water. The collision also caused an oil spill from the barge, which has a capacity of 30,000 gallons. The extent of the spill into the water is currently unknown.

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Located north of Galveston, Pelican Island is connected to the city by the bridge that has now been closed down in both directions due to the accident.

The incident serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of bridges to accidents involving barges. It comes just six weeks after the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, where a container ship struck the structure, resulting in the bridge falling into the harbor and the loss of six construction workers’ lives.

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Reflecting this trend, another recent incident involved a barge hitting the Fort Madison Bridge in Iowa, causing it to sink in the Mississippi River. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the incident involved 15 barges being moved by a tugboat, with one of them breaking loose and colliding with the nearly century-old bridge.

Furthermore, last month, over two dozen river barges broke free from their moorings and floated downstream on the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. The drifting barges struck one bridge, which had already been preemptively closed, and a marina sustained damage before the boats were eventually secured to the riverbank or went over a dam downstream.

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These incidents highlight the need to ensure the safety and protection of bridges, as well as the importance of taking measures to prevent accidents involving barges and their impacts on critical infrastructure.

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