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Baltimore Awakens to Bridge Collapse Tragedy; Emergency Efforts Underway

Updated: Apr 11

BALTIMORE, MD - A cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, leading to its catastrophic collapse into the Patapsco River early Tuesday. This grave incident prompted Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott to declare a “mass casualty” event and a state of emergency. The bridge, a crucial artery for the city's transportation network, saw a significant section of its 2.6km expanse crumble into the water below around 1:30 am, with Mayor Scott describing the disaster as “something out of an action movie.”

Officials have reported that up to seven vehicles plunged into the river due to the collapse, with fears that at least 20 individuals may be in the water. The early morning darkness, compounded by challenging weather conditions and murky waters, has hampered the rescue and recovery efforts. Despite these hurdles, two individuals were rescued from the water on Tuesday morning, one of whom was seriously injured and is currently receiving care at a trauma center.

The Singapore-flagged container vessel named the Dali, which struck the bridge, was en route from Baltimore to Sri Lanka. Preliminary investigations suggest the ship lost power before the collision, leading to a significant emergency response, including the involvement of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and the offer of federal support. The FBI has joined the investigation, with Baltimore Police Chief Richard Worley clarifying that there is no indication of terrorism or intentional harm in the incident.

This tragedy is not without precedent; it echoes past infrastructure failures across the United States, underscoring the vital importance of bridge safety and maintenance. The Francis Scott Key Bridge, the world's third-longest continuous truss bridge, not only serves as a key transport link around Baltimore but also stands as a symbolic structure named after the author of the American national anthem.

As rescue and recovery operations continue, Baltimore Mayor Scott and Maryland Governor Wes Moore have urged the community to unite in hope and support for the affected families. The incident has also prompted a reflection on the resilience of infrastructure and the necessity for stringent safety protocols in the face of unforeseen disasters.

Additional news coverage on this, from other networks, can be found at the following sources:

  1. The National News, "Baltimore bridge collapses after ship collision," published on March 26, 2024. Available online.

  2. CNN, "Baltimore bridge collapse: Search for missing people continues," published on March 26, 2024. Available online.


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