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Cargo Ship Collision Causes Key Bridge Collapse in Baltimore

Cargo Ship Collision Causes Key Bridge Collapse in Baltimore
Photo: NBC News
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A devastating event unfolded when a cargo ship lost power and collided with a support pillar of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in its collapse.

Authorities have reported that at least six individuals are missing, including eight workers who were repairing potholes on the bridge and fell into the Patapsco River. While two workers were successfully rescued, efforts are ongoing to locate the remaining missing persons.

For the latest updates from NBC News, you can follow the link provided here.

In response to the bridge collapse, Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott have declared a state of emergency, attributing the incident to an accident. They have reassured the public that there is no credible evidence of a terrorist attack.

President Biden has expressed his intention to travel to Baltimore at the earliest opportunity, emphasizing the federal government’s commitment to funding the reconstruction of the bridge.

“This will be a lengthy process,” Biden cautioned. “But the people of Baltimore can rely on us to stand by them every step of the way until the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt.”

The Port of Baltimore, which sustains 15,000 jobs, has ceased vessel traffic following the collapse, underscoring the bridge’s crucial role as a gateway to the largest port in the U.S. for specialized cargo such as trucks, tractors, and trailers.

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The 1.6-mile bridge, named after the poet of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” serves as a vital link in East Coast shipping.

Dramatic footage captured the moment at 1:28 a.m. on Tuesday when the ship collided with a support, causing the bridge to collapse into the water. Witness accounts and video footage of the incident can be viewed below.

A livestream captured the bustling activity of cars and trucks traversing the bridge just moments before the harrowing impact. Despite the collision, the ship remained afloat, its lights piercing through the darkness.

The force of the crash sent several vehicles plunging into the murky depths below, triggering a frantic search for survivors and necessitating the closure of one of the nation’s busiest ports.

Governor Moore revealed that the cargo ship, Dali, had alerted authorities of a power loss and issued a mayday call mere moments before the 984-foot vessel collided with the bridge support at a speed of eight knots, equivalent to approximately nine miles per hour.

Concurrently, rescue teams deployed sonar technology to pinpoint submerged vehicles in the frigid 50-foot-deep waters. Governor Moore reported the discovery of three passenger cars, a cement truck, and another unidentified vehicle.

Insights From the Investigation

Investigators reconstructed the events leading up to the collision. The Dali experienced a sudden blackout four minutes prior, followed by a restoration of lights. At 1:25 a.m., plumes of dark smoke billowed from the ship’s chimney. A minute later, at 1:26 a.m., the vessel appeared to alter its course. In the fleeting moments before impact, the ship’s lights flickered intermittently before colliding with the support.

Below, you can listen to dispatch audio capturing the immediate aftermath of the Key Bridge collapse.

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