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Catastrophic Collapse as Cargo Ship Strikes Major Baltimore Bridge

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BALTIMORE, USA – In the early hours of Tuesday, March 26, 2024, a major disaster struck at the heart of Baltimore in the state of Maryland when a large cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, leading to its sudden collapse into the Patapsco River.

The incident, which occurred around 1:30 a.m., has launched a frantic search and rescue operation for six construction workers who were on the bridge, performing maintenance work at the time of the collapse.

James Wallace, chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, provided details of the accident at a news conference, revealing that the cargo ship struck one of the bridge’s columns, causing a section of the bridge to snap off and fall into the river, taking several vehicles with it.

A burst of flames and smoke was seen rising from the wreckage, adding to the chaotic scene.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld confirmed that multiple contractors were on the bridge repairing potholes, but the exact number of workers present at the time of the collapse remains unknown.

In the aftermath of the disaster, two individuals were rescued, with one in “very serious condition,” according to Wallace. The ship’s crew, meanwhile, remains aboard the vessel, which is awaiting assessment for potential damages.

Governor Wes Moore addressed the media, stating that preliminary investigations suggest the incident was accidental, dispelling fears of a deliberate act of terror.

In response to the tragedy, a state of emergency has been declared, with efforts underway to mobilize federal resources to support the search and rescue operations.

The search effort is extensive, involving local, state, and federal agencies, utilizing divers, helicopters, and sonar technology to explore a vast section of the river.

The Patapsco River, approximately 50 feet deep at the collapse site, presents significant challenges due to its currents, particularly as tides change.

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation, with the White House stating that he will continue to receive updates throughout the day.

The cargo vessel involved in the incident, operated by the Synergy Group and owned by Singapore-based Grace Ocean Pte, was chartered by shipping giant Maersk.

The ship, named the Dali, was en route to Sri Lanka and is currently under investigation by both the Synergy Group and authorities to ascertain the cause of the collision.

In the meantime, the Port of Baltimore has suspended all vessel traffic “until further notice,” though truck transport within the port’s terminals continues.

This suspension has led to concerns about the impact on shipping routes and the logistical challenge of rerouting to other East Coast ports, as noted by supply chain expert Kevin Linderman.

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