Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cargo Ship Collides With Bridge

A 902-foot container vessel collided with a fender designed to protect the support tower on the center span of the Bay Bridge between Treasure Island and San Francisco on Wednesday morning. U.S. Coast Guard Officer Anya Hunter said the collision did not cause any apparent damage to the bridge. The cargo ship from the Hanjin Shipping Company hit part of the tower at about 8:30 a.m. and leaked oil into the water for about 30 minutes before ship operators transferred the oil in the ship to another part of the vessel, Hunter said. Coast Guard vessels escorted the cargo ship north of Treasure Island at about 10:30 a.m.Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said that the ship didn't actually hit the bridge, but scraped a fender designed to protect the tower. The ship was an outbound vessel, Hunter said, but its destination was not released. It hit the fourth of five towers on the San Francisco side of the bridge. That is the second tower from Treasure Island. The ship's name is "Cosco Busan," and the words "Hong Kong" are listed under its name, NBC affiliate KNTV reported. A long scrape -- from the front of the cargo ship to the A in the ship's title, "Hanjin" -- could be seen as a Coast Guard vessel escorted it to Treasure Island for inspection. Coast Guard pollution investigators and marine investigators will assess how much fuel was spilled into the water. Traffic on the Bay Bridge was not affected by the accident, Hunter said.

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