Home General News Baltimore bridge collapses after powerless cargo ship rams into support column; 6...

Baltimore bridge collapses after powerless cargo ship rams into support column; 6 presumed dead

Six people were missing and presumed dead, and the search for them was suspended until Wednesday morning. The ship’s crew issued a mayday call moments before the crash took down the Francis Scott Key Bridge, enabling authorities to limit vehicle traffic on the span, Maryland’s governor said.

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A cargo ship lost power and rammed into a major bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday, destroying the span in a matter of seconds and plunging it into the river in a terrifying collapse that could disrupt a vital shipping port for months.

Six people were missing and presumed dead, and the search for them was suspended until Wednesday morning.
The ship’s crew issued a mayday call moments before the crash took down the Francis Scott Key Bridge, enabling authorities to limit vehicle traffic on the span, Maryland’s governor said.

As the vessel neared the bridge, puffs of black smoke could be seen as the lights flickered on and off. It struck one of the bridge’s supports causing the structure to collapse like a toy, and a section of the span came to rest on the bow.

With the ship barreling toward the bridge at “a very, very rapid speed,” authorities had just enough time to stop cars from coming over the bridge, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

“These people are heroes,” Moore said. “They saved lives last night.”
In the evening, Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., superintendent for Maryland State Police, announced that the search and rescue mission was transitioning to one of search and recovery.

He also said the search was being put on pause and divers would return to the site at 6 a.m. Wednesday, when challenging overnight conditions were expected to improve. No bodies have been recovered, Butler said.

The crash happened in the middle of the night, long before the busy morning commute on the bridge that stretches 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) and was used by 12 million vehicles last year.
The six missing people were part of a construction crew filling potholes on the bridge, said Paul Wiedefeld, the state’s transportation secretary.

Guatemala’s consulate in Maryland said in a statement that two of the missing were citizens of the Central American nation. It did not provide their names but said consular officials were in contact with authorities and assisting the families.

Honduras’ Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio García told The Associated Press that a Honduran citizen, Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, was missing. He said he had been in contact with Suazo’s family.

And the Washington Consulate of Mexico said via the social media platform X that citizens of that nation were also among the missing. It did not say how many.
A senior executive at the company that employed the workers also said, in the afternoon, that the workers were presumed dead given the water’s depth and how much time had passed.

Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders, said the crew was working in the middle of the bridge when it came down.
“This was so completely unforeseen,” Pritzker said. “We don’t know what else to say. We take such great pride in safety, and we have cones and signs and lights and barriers and flaggers.”

Jesus Campos, who has worked on the bridge for Brawner Builders and knows members of the crew, said he was told they were on a break and some were sitting in their trucks.
“I know that a month ago, I was there, and I know what it feels like when the trailers pass,” Campos said. “Imagine knowing that is falling. It is so hard. One would not know what to do.”

Father Ako Walker, a Roman Catholic priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus, said he spent time with the families of the missing workers as they waited for news of their loved ones.
“You can see the pain etched on their faces,” Walker said.
Rescuers pulled two people out of the water, one of whom was treated at a hospital and discharged hours later.
Multiple vehicles also went into the river, although authorities did not believe anyone was inside.
“It looked like something out of an action movie,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said, calling it “an unthinkable tragedy.”

A police dispatcher put out a call just before the collapse saying a ship had lost its steering and asked officers to stop all traffic on the bridge, according to Maryland Transportation Authority first responder radio traffic obtained from the Broadcastify.com archive.

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