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16 June, 2024
 
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Baltimore bridge collapse leaves six presumed dead

Cargo ship collision closes major US port

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In a tragic turn of events early Tuesday morning, a bridge collapse in Baltimore Harbor has left six workers missing and presumed dead. The incident occurred when a massive cargo ship, the Singapore-flagged container vessel named Dali, experienced a power loss and collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

According to a report on Reuters, despite efforts from rescue teams, including dive teams braving dangerous conditions in the wreckage-strewn waters, active search-and-rescue operations were suspended after approximately 18 hours. According to Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath, the frigid water and the passage of time since the accident dashed hopes of finding the missing workers alive.

The collision, which occurred around 1:30 a.m., caused a trestled section of the bridge to crumple into the icy waters of the Patapsco River, sending vehicles and individuals into the river. While two survivors were rescued and one hospitalized, the fate of the six missing workers remains uncertain.

The Dali, bound for Sri Lanka, reportedly experienced a power failure prior to impact. Fortunately, officials managed to halt traffic on the bridge before its collapse, averting an even larger disaster.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore commended the quick actions of those who prevented further casualties, stating, "By being able to stop cars from coming over the bridge, these people are heroes. They saved lives last night."

The closure of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the U.S. Eastern Seaboard is expected to have significant ramifications on supply chains. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the potential impact, particularly on automobile cargo, as the Port of Baltimore handles a substantial volume of vehicles.

President Joe Biden pledged swift federal support for recovery efforts, vowing to expedite the reopening of the port and the reconstruction of the bridge. Meanwhile, investigations into the cause of the incident are underway, with a team of personnel on the scene.

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge marks a devastating event for Baltimore Harbor and raises concerns about bridge safety nationwide. As the community grapples with the aftermath, the focus remains on recovery and ensuring the safety of maritime operations in the region.

[With information sourced from Reuters]

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Cyprus  |  US  |  Baltimore  |  bridge  |  dead  |  cargo

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