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Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Six Missing Workers Presumed Dead

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Baltimore: All 22 crew members aboard the cargo ship, which collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, United States, early on Tuesday, causing it to collapse, are of Indian nationality, as confirmed by the shipping company.

The ship management company Synergy Marine Group said in a statement said, “All crew members, including the two pilots, have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries. There has also been no pollution,”

The Singapore-flagged cargo ship Dali “lost propulsion” as it was leaving the Baltimore harbour and warned Maryland officials of a possible collision with the bridge, CBS News reported.

The incident took place at 1:30 am (US Time). The Baltimore City Fire Department described the collapse as a mass casualty incident as media reports tell that many vehicles fell in the river. Rescuers were searching for at least seven people in the water.

Many media reports also said that up to 20 construction workers were there on the Baltimore Bridge at the time of the incident. A video of the incident was also shared online showing the moment of the collapse of the 3Km Long Bridge.

The vessel appeared to have hit one of the supports of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing the roadway to break apart in several places and plunge into the water, according to a video released on X. The ship caught fire and appeared to sink in the river.

The registered owner of the ship, Grace Ocean Pte Ltd., who also serves as Synergy Marine Group’s manager, reported that the container ship Dali, flying the Singapore flag, struck a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland. The crew members, including the two pilots on board, have all been accounted for, according to officials, who said that while the precise reason for the event is yet unknown, “Dali” has now activated its Qualified Individual event response service. No casualties have been reported.

On its official ‘X’ account the Maryland Transportation Authority has posted that all the lanes are closed for the incident on I-695 Key Bridge. Traffic is being detoured. The Bridge opened in 1977, spans the Patapsco River, an important artery that along with the Port of Baltimore is a hub for shipping on the East Coast. It is named for the writer of the Star Spangled Banner.

According to the Maryland government website, the Port of Baltimore handled more than 52 million tons of foreign cargo valued at over $80 billion last year, ranking it eighth among US ports in total. According to his statement, Baltimore’s mayor is aware of the state’s bridge collapse tragedy. The crew faced difficulties searching for twenty people who had fallen into the water because of freezing issues and poor visibility at the location. The US Coast Guard and the Baltimore City Fire Department are participating in the rescue effort. The temperature is approximately -1 degrees Celsius.

For a search and rescue mission, the US Coast Guard is in the river with a group of divers. According to Coast Guard’s 5th District public affairs officer Kimberly Reaves, the US Coast Guard has confirmed that there are cars in the water. In addition, the Coast Guard has sent out numerous response units to conduct search and rescue operations. “Coast Guard units on scene include small boats from Station Annapolis and Station Curtis Bay and a helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City,” the statement continued. Reaves stated that while numerous local and state agencies are offering assistance, it is unknown how many people have been injured.

Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg met with Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott, per the secretary’s post on X. “Retrieval efforts are still ongoing, and motorists in the Baltimore area should heed local responder advice regarding detours and response,” Buttigieg declared.

Wes Moore, the governor of Maryland, has proclaimed a state of emergency in response to the bridge collapse. The governor has expressed gratitude to the courageous men and women who are working to save people in need and stated they are praying for everyone’s safety. The water temperature at the collapse scene is about 48 degrees F which is around 9 degrees C making rescue operations urgent to save anyone there in the water. According to Van Dam, the body could withstand temperatures that low for one to three hours. However, he stated that “that is why it is so incredibly crucial” because undersea divers entered the water right once to begin a search and rescue mission.

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