At least 6 individuals remain missing following the collision of a cargo ship that demolished a bridge in Baltimore.



"Rescue teams were actively scouring for survivors subsequent to a vessel impacting a support pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, an integral structure facilitating Interstate 695 passage over the Patapsco River."

"In Baltimore, a significant bridge collapsed during the early hours of Tuesday following a collision with a container ship. This incident resulted in multiple vehicles falling into the murky waters below, prompting an urgent search for survivors and the closure of one of the busiest ports in the nation.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency, attributing the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge to what appears to be an accident rather than an act of terrorism.

"The entire state is reeling from the shock of this event," remarked Moore."

Moore stated that the cargo ship Dali alerted authorities of a "power issue" and issued a mayday call moments before the 984-foot vessel collided with a bridge support at a speed of eight knots, approximately nine miles per hour.

Simultaneously, rescue teams employing sonar technology detected at least five vehicles submerged in the frigid 50-foot-deep water, comprising three passenger cars, a cement truck, and another unidentified vehicle, as per Moore.

A yet-to-be-determined number of workers were engaged in repairs on the bridge when the ship struck a support pillar, with at least six individuals still believed to be missing, according to Moore.

"The primary focus remains on the rescue operation," affirmed the governor.

"We are currently in an active search-and-rescue mode."

Previously, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace reported that two individuals were rescued from the water.

Wallace stated that one person was in good condition and declined medical treatment, while the other sustained serious injuries and was receiving care at a trauma center.

"We are still actively engaged in search and rescue operations at this time," Wallace emphasized.

Governor Moore mentioned that there could have been more motorists in the water if not for the quick actions of individuals who, upon hearing the mayday call, blocked access to the bridge and prevented other vehicles from crossing.

"These individuals are heroes," Moore praised. "They saved lives. They saved lives."

The Dali is operated and managed by a company named Synergy Group. In their statement, the company clarified that two port pilots were steering the Dali at the time of the collision, and all 22 crew members aboard were safely located.

Maryland Governor Moore confirmed that the bridge, spanning approximately a mile and a half and carrying Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, was in compliance with all relevant standards.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been closely monitoring the situation, with a team of National Transportation Safety Board investigators already dispatched to the site.

President Joe Biden pledged federal assistance for the reconstruction of the bridge.

"This reconstruction process will require time," Biden cautioned. "However, the people of Baltimore can rely on our unwavering support throughout, until the port is operational again and the bridge is reconstructed."

The Port of Baltimore ranks as the 11th largest in the United States and stands as the primary hub for both importing and exporting automobiles, handling over 750,000 vehicles in 2023 alone, as per data provided by the Maryland Port Administration.

The Dali was chartered by the Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk. In response to the closure of the Port of Baltimore, Maersk stated that it will be compelled to divert its vessels to alternative nearby ports.

Renowned writer David Simon, known for his portrayal of Baltimore in the TV crime drama "The Wire," which he based on his experiences as a former reporter covering the city, expressed concerns online about the significant impact on those whose livelihoods are intricately tied to the port.

"First and foremost, my thoughts are with those affected on the bridge," Simon posted on X. "However, my mind also drifts to the plight of a port city in distress. Consider all the individuals whose livelihoods depend on the flow of ships in and out."

Timeline of crash

Dramatic footage captured the event at 1:28 a.m. on Tuesday, depicting the instant when the Dali collided with a support, causing the bridge to collapse into the water. A livestream broadcast displayed cars and trucks traversing the bridge mere moments before the impact. Despite the collision, the ship did not sink, and its lights remained illuminated.

According to investigators, in a detailed timeline, the Dali's lights abruptly went out four minutes prior, before reactivating, and then, at 1:25 a.m., dense black smoke began emanating from the ship's chimney. A minute later, at 1:26 a.m., the vessel appeared to alter its course. Just moments before colliding with the support, the lights on the ship flickered off and on intermittently. Paul Wiedefeld, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, stated that workers on the bridge were engaged in repairing concrete ducts when the ship collided with the structure. These workers were employed by Brawner Builders Inc. According to a foreman named James Krutzfeldt, at least seven workers were involved in pouring concrete to mend potholes on the roadway directly above the area of impact. Krutzfeldt, who was not present at the time of the incident, mentioned that one of the missing individuals is another foreman whom he regards as his mentor and "work dad." "I'm still somewhat in disbelief," Krutzfeldt expressed. Earlier, the U.S. Coast Guard informed NBC News that they had received a report of a "motor vessel making contact with the bridge," confirming it to be the Dali, a container ship flying the Singaporean flag en route to Sri Lanka. Bobby Haines, a resident of Dundalk in Baltimore County, recounted feeling the tremor from the bridge collapse in his nearby residence. "I woke up at 1:30 this morning, and my house shook, and I was terrified," he recounted. "I thought it was an earthquake, and discovering it was a bridge collapse is truly, truly frightening."

"Families of the bridge workers await updates."

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott stated in a press conference, "Our initial priority must be to offer prayers for all those affected, their families, and to express gratitude to our first responders. We commend their collective efforts—city, state, and local—to navigate through this tragic event."

A gathering of individuals claiming to be relatives of workers employed by Brawner Builders Inc. congregated at a Royal Farms convenience store near the bridge entrance. They revealed that their family members were working on the bridge at the time of the incident. One woman informed NBC News that her father-in-law, Miguel Luna, was among the workers present. They chose the store as their gathering point due to its proximity to the bridge, yet they expressed frustration at the lack of official information regarding the well-being of their loved ones.

"We have a long road ahead of us."

Constructed in 1977 and commonly known as the Key Bridge locally, this structure was subsequently renamed after the author of the American national anthem. The bridge stretches over 8,500 feet, or approximately 1.2 miles, in total length. Its primary section spans 1,200 feet and was recognized as one of the longest continuous truss bridges globally upon its completion, as stated by the National Steel Bridge Alliance.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, approximately 31,000 vehicles traverse the bridge daily, translating to around 11.3 million vehicles annually. The river and the Port of Baltimore are vital components of the shipping industry on the East Coast, contributing over $3.3 billion annually and providing direct employment to more than 15,000 individuals. When questioned about the future outlook for Baltimore residents, the state's transportation secretary remarked that it is premature to provide definitive answers. "Clearly, we've contacted several engineering firms, so it's evident that we have a challenging journey ahead," stated Wiedefeld.

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Accept !