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Update – Baltimore bridge collapse: Container ship incident leaves six missing

A container ship experiencing a loss of power struck an important bridge in Baltimore, causing severe damage to the structure.

The incident led to the bridge’s partial collapse into the river below, tragically dragging construction workers and vehicles into the icy waters. Authorities have managed to rescue two individuals, while the search continues for at least six missing persons.

The incident occurred when the vessel, moments before the collision, issued a distress signal that prompted immediate action to halt vehicular traffic on the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Maryland Governor Wes Moore told media. The early warning, based on a propulsion failure reported by the ship’s crew, aimed to prevent a direct impact with the bridge. Despite these efforts, the bridge suffered significant structural failure when one of its supports was hit, leading to a collapse that was both swift and shocking, as captured in social media footage.

Moore commended the swift response that prevented further vehicles from accessing the bridge, saying the actions were ‘lifesaving’. The incident occurred outside peak traffic hours, minimising potential harm. The six individuals unaccounted for were part of a maintenance team working on the bridge making pothole repairs.

The aftermath of the collapse has been described as resembling scenes from an action movie, with Baltimore’s Mayor Brandon M. Scott declaring a state of emergency and initiating expanded emergency responses. The National Transportation Safety Board has commenced an investigation.

The collision is likely to lead to significant disruption of logistical operations on the East Coast of the United States, impacting the shipping and transportation sectors. The closure of this crucial infrastructure piece threatens to have far-reaching effects on the region’s economy and traffic flow, with highway signs far beyond Maryland already warning of potential delays.

Local officials and emergency response teams have been praised for their rapid and coordinated efforts to manage the crisis. The shipping company overseeing the Singaporean flagged vessel the Dali have confirmed all crew members are safe.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Being the less-than-insightful entities that many government are, right now they should be contracting with an engineering firm to run a tunnel under that particular body of water, and ordering a TBM to start work right away.
    Tunneling would remove the threat of another bridge ramming, and such a system is in place in Norfolk, VA.
    It would take the same amount of time to tunnel (maybe less) as to build another vulnerable bridge.

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