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Baltimore Bridge Collapse: 6 Presumed Dead After 18-Hour Search-and-Rescue Mission

Baltimore Bridge Collapse: 6 Presumed Dead After 18-Hour Search-and-Rescue Mission

Six workers are presumed dead after a tragic bridge collapse in Baltimore Harbor early on Tuesday. The incident occurred when a massive cargo ship, the Singapore-flagged container vessel named Dali, experienced a power loss and collided with a support pylon of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. As a result, a trestled section of the bridge collapsed into the icy waters of the Patapsco River at around 1:30 a.m. local time.

Rescue efforts faced challenging conditions, including frigid water temperatures and debris-filled waters. After an 18-hour search-and-rescue mission, authorities made the difficult decision to suspend active operations. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath stated that due to the conditions and the time elapsed since the accident, there was no hope of finding survivors.

Maryland State Police Colonel Roland Butler expressed hopes to recover the workers’ remains with further dive operations scheduled for the following day. The tragic incident resulted in the closure of one of the busiest ports on the US Eastern Seaboard.

The cargo ship, bound for Sri Lanka, reported a power failure prior to the collision. However, officials managed to stop traffic on the bridge before the collapse, preventing further casualties. Governor Wes Moore commended the efforts to prevent additional loss of life, describing those involved as heroes.

The closure of the port will have significant impacts on supply chains, affecting industries reliant on maritime trade. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the magnitude of the disruption, particularly to automobile cargo shipments. The Port of Baltimore, a key hub for vehicle transport, handles a substantial portion of the country’s automobile imports and exports.

President Joe Biden pledged federal support for rebuilding efforts, promising to expedite the restoration of the bridge and port operations. The bridge collapse marks a devastating event for Baltimore, prompting swift response and investigation from national safety agencies.

The tragedy serves as a reminder of the critical importance of infrastructure safety and maintenance. Investigations into the incident are ongoing, with a focus on determining the cause and preventing future accidents.

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