UPDATE: Ship hits Bay Bridge, Coast Guard working on spill

Pollution experts from the California Department of Fish and Game are working with the U.S. Coast Guard's San Francisco Sector and the San Francisco Police Department to contain the fuel spill from a container ship that collided with a tower on the center span of the Bay Bridge between Treasure Island and San Francisco this morning.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Michael Anderson said the crews are attempting to place containing devices in the water around the spill. After containing the fuel, crews will be placing absorbing materials over the area, Anderson said.

San Francisco police and the Coast Guard also enforced a 100-foot safety zone around the leaked fuel and the ship, docked north of Treasure Island, according to the Coast Guard.


See photos of the cleanup and rescue effort: “Oil Spill: Tragedy for the Bay


The collision occurred at about 8:30 a.m. and did not harm the bridge itself or interrupt morning traffic. Drivers did not feel the impact, Ney said. But the collison left a large gash on the side of the vessel, according to California Department of Transportation spokesman Bart Ney.

Caltrans dispatched structural engineers and maintenance crews after the accident occurred, but the bridge was fully protected from damage by the bumpers, Ney said.

Engineers will be clearing the large pieces of the bumper out of the water to prevent further accidents, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The outbound ship that hit the tower is owned by shipping company COSCO BUSAN and piloted by experienced captain William Uberti, according to officials.

Low visibility due to fog was a factor in the accident. The cause remains under investigation, according to officials.

— Bay City News

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