Bridge in Baltimore collapses into the water after a ship strike

Early Tuesday morning, the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Baltimore harbor.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge on I-695 in Maryland crumbled into the Baltimore harbor after being struck by a ship in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This incident triggered a search and rescue operation to save those who fell into the cold waters.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., a cargo ship collided with a support beam, causing the bridge to crumble and plunge into the Patapsco River. A livestream captured the devastating incident, revealing the bridge’s destruction. Although several vehicles were present on the bridge during the collision, there is currently no information regarding any casualties.

According to Paul Wiedefeld, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, eight members of a construction crew fell into the water while carrying out routine work to fill potholes on the bridge. Out of these members, six are currently unaccounted for, while two were successfully rescued. One of the rescued individuals is currently receiving treatment at the hospital, while the other declined medical assistance.

Weidefeld stated that there is currently no information available regarding the number of vehicles that entered the water and the condition of the individuals inside those vehicles.

LIVE UPDATES: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for at Least 6 People Following Baltimore Bridge Collapse

The catastrophic collapse is still being addressed by officials who are actively engaged in a search and rescue mission. The U.S. Coast Guard is diligently searching for any survivors in the water. The depth of the water below the bridge measures approximately 50 feet, while the water temperature stood at around 47 degrees during the collapse.

President Biden spoke about the collapse in a prepared speech on Tuesday afternoon, expressing that the federal government is providing all necessary resources and pledging to reconstruct the port together.

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President Obama announced his intention to fully fund the reconstruction of the bridge, assuring the people of Baltimore that they can rely on the federal government’s support. He emphasized that although this endeavor will require some time, he expects Congress to back his initiative.

President Biden addressed the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse during his remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday.

According to Biden, when asked by a reporter if the company in charge of managing the ship should be held accountable for the expenses, the federal government will not wait for any decisions. Instead, it will take action to rebuild and reopen the bridge.

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The FBI, which was present at the scene, conducted an investigation to determine the cause of the ship’s collision with the bridge. They confirmed that the incident was not connected to any terrorist activity.

According to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, when questioned about whether the ship lost power prior to hitting the bridge, he stated that the ship’s crew had informed the authorities about a power problem before the collision. The mayday call provided sufficient time for the authorities to restrict water traffic beneath the bridge and vehicle traffic on the bridge.

Emergency crews, including the U.S. Coast Guard, local first responders, and the FBI, were actively searching for individuals who were believed to be in the water. Kevin Cartwright, the director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, stated in an interview with The Associated Press at around 3 a.m. that this was being treated as a mass casualty event.

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Cartwright emphasized that their current priority is centered on the rescue and recovery of these individuals.

A total of 22 crew members were present on the Singapore-flagged container vessel Dali, according to the Baltimore Fire Rescue 1.

According to Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace, two individuals were rescued from the water after the collapse, and one of them is currently in a serious condition.

According to Wallace, the authorities are currently searching for potentially seven individuals, although this number is subject to change.

The Dali, a container ship with a Singapore flag and a gross tonnage of 95,000, was the cargo ship that collided with the bridge, according to the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore. At the time of the incident, there were 22 crew members on board the ship.

Singapore’s Maritime Port Authority is collaborating with the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct a thorough investigation. (Baltimore Fire Rescue 1)

According to a statement from the Synergy Group, a Singapore-based company responsible for managing the ship, both pilots who were navigating the vessel through the harbor and all crew members on board have been confirmed safe and accounted for. Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries or incidents of pollution.

According to a statement on social media by the Maryland Transportation Authority, traffic in both directions on all lanes is currently closed. Detours are being implemented to manage the flow of vehicles. The authority further advised motorists to steer clear of the I-695 southeast corridor and opt for alternative routes such as I-95 or I-895.

According to ABC News, a White House official has stated that they are closely monitoring the situation but have not found any evidence of suspicious intentions.

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The families of those still missing as a result of this horrific incident are in our thoughts and prayers, the White House expressed in a statement.

Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. have both confirmed that emergency personnel are currently responding to the situation and rescue efforts are already underway.

Agencies received 911 calls around 1:30 a.m. reporting that a vessel traveling from Baltimore had struck the bridge, resulting in its collapse, Cartwright stated.

“This is an urgent situation,” Cartwright emphasized.

The bridge’s collapse occurred just two days after celebrating its 47-year anniversary since its construction was finished on March 24, 1977.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River. (Fox News)

According to him, there are hazards in the form of cargo or retainers hanging from the bridge, which are causing potentially unsafe and unstable conditions. As a result, emergency responders are exercising caution in their operations.

According to a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police, they received notification of a partial bridge collapse at the Francis Scott Key Bridge at 1:35 a.m. There were concerns that workers may have been in the water at the time.

The FBI has deployed its agents to the scene, where they are collaborating with first responders.

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Emergency crews are currently at the scene, evaluating the extent of the damage and conducting an investigation into the cause, as reported by Fox Baltimore.

At 2:45 a.m., the live camera feeds for the bridge on the Maryland Transportation Authority website went offline.

This report is currently in progress and will be updated as new information becomes available.

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