6 Presumed Dead After Baltimore Bridge Catastrophe
6 Presumed Dead After Baltimore Bridge Catastrophe

By Lawrence Wilson and Jackson Richman

A massive cargo ship lost power and struck a major bridge in Baltimore in the early hours of March 26, causing it to collapse and hurtling as many as 12 vehicles and 20 people into the frigid water.

Six construction workers are presumed dead, according to the Coast Guard.

At least two survivors have been rescued. One refused medical treatment and the other was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

The crew of the Dali, a 985-foot-long ship, issued a mayday call moments before the crash, allowing authorities to stop traffic on the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The ship barrelled toward the bridge at “a very, very rapid speed,” said Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, striking one of the bridge’s supports at around 1:30 am ET, causing the structure to collapse within seconds.

Initial findings show the incident was an accident, said Mr. Moore, with no credible evidence that it was a terrorist attack.

The Dali was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and flying under a Singapore flag, according to data from Marine Traffic. Inspectors found a problem with the Dali’s machinery in June, but a more recent examination didn’t identify any deficiencies, according to the shipping information system Equasis.

All 22 crew members were accounted for and unharmed, along with two local pilots, according to a statement from Synergy Marine, which operates the ship.

Mr. Moore declared a state of emergency for Maryland.

Shipping in and out of the Port of Baltimore was suspended after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The port and bridge’s closure is expected to disrupt U.S. supply chains, causing price increases.

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the crash.

President Joe Biden said the federal government would foot the costs of the bridge’s reconstruction.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, part of the part of Interstate 695, a key route in Maryland, is named after the person behind America’s national anthem. Built in 1977, it carries more than 30,000 cars per day, according to the state government.

The Associated Press contributed.

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