Baltimore Remains Strong After Francis Scott Key Bridge Baltimore Collapse

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore experienced a catastrophic event early on Tuesday. A large container ship, which had lost power, struck a supporting pillar of the bridge causing it to collapse. This unfortunate incident led to vehicles and individuals plunging into the Patapsco River, according to official reports.

Paul Wiedefeld, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, reported in a mid-morning briefing that six individuals are yet to be accounted for. All six were part of a construction team working on the bridge at the time. Additionally, two workers were successfully rescued from the water.

The scene was described as an ongoing search and rescue operation led by Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace, with the Coast Guard also involved. Of the two workers rescued, one was unharmed, while the other is receiving treatment at the University of Maryland Medical Center and is in serious condition.

In response to the disaster, Maryland's Governor, Wes Moore, declared a state of emergency. He expressed gratitude towards the courageous individuals involved in the rescue efforts and conveyed prayers for everyone's safety.

The fire department had received distress calls around 1:30 a.m., reporting a vessel hitting a bridge column. The number of vehicles on the bridge at the time is uncertain, but it was confirmed that a large tractor-trailer was present.

Kevin Cartwright, the department's communications director, described the incident as a severe emergency and a mass casualty event. Some cargo was seen hanging from the bridge after the collapse.

The vessel involved, the Singapore-flagged Dali, was operated by Synergy Group and chartered by Maersk. It was carrying cargo belonging to Maersk's customers. Officials confirmed the ship had lost power before the impact. The cause of the power issue remains undefined.

A mayday call was made prior to the collision, allowing officials to halt traffic onto the bridge. However, the number of vehicles on the bridge at the time of the collapse remains unclear. Infrared footage revealed vehicles entering the water, but it's uncertain whether they were occupied.

Baltimore's Mayor, Brandon Scott, commended the mayday call for saving many lives and facilitating the quick arrival of emergency services. The FBI was also present at the scene to investigate any potential terrorism links, but none were found.

William DelBagno, the FBI's Special Agent in charge of the Baltimore field office, assured there was no credible information indicating ties to terrorism. The FBI was providing resources such as underwater search and response teams for evidence collection.

The National Transportation Security Board announced that it's sending a team to probe the incident. Local authorities, including the Mayor and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., urged prayers for those affected and gratitude towards the first responders.

A resident recounted the sound of the collapse as colossal, shaking his home and describing it as an earthquake. The gentleman confessed he never anticipated witnessing such an event.

In the wake of the disaster, shipping in and out of the Port of Baltimore has been suspended. Governor Moore stressed the primary focus is on saving lives and executing search and rescue operations.

Small Tugboat and Large Automobile Cargo Ship

July 28, 2018, Baltimore, MD, USA. A small tug boat on the way in the Baltimore harbor to meet a large auto cargo ship under the Key Bridge.Photo: Moment RF

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