Baltimore’s Key Bridge collapses after ship collision

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Baltimore (U.S.), March 26, 2024 – The Francis Scott Key Bridge, a major span critical to East Coast shipping, collapsed early morning Tuesday after it was struck by a large cargo ship.

The incident prompted a massive emergency response for at least seven people in the water.

James Wallace, the Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, said at a news conference that around 1:30 a.m. a vessel struck the Key Bridge in Baltimore, causing the collapse.

Several vehicles were on the bridge at the time of impact and were plunged into the Patapsco River.

Wallace said two people were rescued from the water. One was unharmed and the other remains in “very serious condition,” he said.

At least seven people were believed to be in the water, though, Wallace noted, it’s unclear whether that number includes the two who were rescued.

The crew that was on the ship when it collided with a bridge occurred remains on the vessel, which needs to be assessed for damage before rescuers can board it, Wallace said.

Multiple local, state and federal agencies are coordinating the massive search, which spans a vast section of the river – both above and below the surface of the water – and the ship itself, Wallace said.

Divers, helicopters and sonar technology were being used and had located several vehicles submerged in the water. “We’re battling darkness,” Wallace said, adding that the river is “tide influenced.”

Wes Moore, the governor of Maryland, declared a state of emergency and said he is working with an interagency team to “quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration.”

“This is an unthinkable tragedy,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at a news conference.  (U.S. Today)

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