Bridge collapses after ship collision in US city of Baltimore

The fire department has rescued two people from the ice-cold water. During a news conference, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace stated that one person was transported to a hospital in serious condition.

The Governor of Maryland, Wes Moore, announced a state of emergency on Tuesday. The authorities have stated that there is no evidence of terrorism. The Maryland Department of Transportation has confirmed that the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has collapsed. This bridge used to cross the Patapsco River in the southeast part of the city. The flow of traffic will be changed to a different route. The Marine Traffic website indicated that the container ship named “Dali,” which is registered in Singapore, had stopped underneath the bridge. Based on the latest information, it is believed that at least seven vehicles were involved in the crash.

Video footage from online services captured the dramatic moment when the illuminated bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River. The bridge pillar was hit and collapsed, causing the steel structure to bend and move like a wave. Some parts of the structure fell into the river.

“According to firefighter Kevin Cartwright on CNN, we think there might be around 20 people and multiple vehicles in the Patapsco River.” He said that a semi-trailer was one of the vehicles in the accident. The rescue work has started. There are also rescue workers from the US Coast Guard and a diving team on duty to help save any survivors from the river, in addition to the fire department.

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Cartwright told CNN that the temperatures are a cause for concern, not just for those who died. Cartwright explained that when the outside temperature feels like minus one degree Celsius or lower, the water is definitely colder. “This can be worrying and dangerous for our divers.”

The owners said that the crew of the ship that crashed into one of the support pillars was not injured. A statement available to the New York Times on Tuesday morning (local time) said that there were no injuries on the ship. The owners have confirmed the incident. We still need to figure out what caused the collision.

The container ship named “Dali” sails under the flag of Singapore, according to data from the provider LSEG. The ship had been rented by the shipping company Maersk and was planned to depart from the port of Baltimore for Colombo on Tuesday morning. She was supposed to get there on April 22nd. “We are shocked by what occurred in Baltimore,” Maersk stated. “We are thinking of everyone who has been affected.” The ship is approximately 290 meters long.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a four-lane bridge that is 2.6 kilometers long. It crosses the Patapsco River and is located southwest of downtown Baltimore as part of Interstate 695. The facility was established in 1977 in a city located on the US East Coast known for its industry and port. It is currently utilized by over eleven million vehicles annually.

After learning of the incident, Baltimore County Chief Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Mayor Brandon Scoot of Baltimore declared that rescue operations had begun. Olszewski commented on X, “Please pray for those affected.” Scott declared he was going to the accident scene.

The busiest port in the United States for car shipping is Baltimore. The Maryland government reports that in 2023, some 850,000 vehicles and light trucks were handled there. Volkswagen, General Motors, and Toyota are among the automakers that use Baltimore to handle imports and exports. Following the collapse, almost forty ships were forced to remain in port. They still had at least thirty ships headed for Baltimore.

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