Port Arthur, TX Barge Collides With Bridge, Sep 1970

FUEL BARGE HITS BRIDGE, BURNS; 1 KILLED, 5 HURT.

Port Arthur, Tex. (UPI) -- A tug pushing three barges loaded with fuel oil bounced against the intracoastal waterway bridge and exploded Sunday night, engulging[sic] the bridge in flames.
One person was killed and five were injured.
The tug captain pushed the barges through the flames away from the bridge, then dived into the water. He swam to shore, unhurt.
The Coast Guard station in Sabine Pass said one of the barges rubbed against the lower pillars of the drawbridge. The bridge was raised at the time.
Friction apparently caused sparks which touched the fuel oil, causing the explosion. Flaming oil spread over the water and the bridge.
The dead man and injured persons were not identified, nor was it known if they were on the tug or the barge. The tug had a crew of eight.

Independent Long Beach California 1970-09-14

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