Home North America Baltimore Bridge Collapses Into River As Container Vessel Rams Into It

Baltimore Bridge Collapses Into River As Container Vessel Rams Into It

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In a rare accident of its kind, a Singapore-flagged container vessel Dali, rammed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge early this morning leading to the entire bridge collapsing into the Patapsco River. Authorities described it as a “mass casualty incident” with a search on for as many as 20 people who were on the bridge when it was hit.

BBC reported that “dive and rescue teams had arrived at the site to locate the individuals in the water”. It said there was diesel fuel in the water, probably the result of the cargo vessel’s fuel tanks getting ruptured. Authorities were on the alert given concerns that if a fire broke out, it could spread to the ship which remained stalled near the bridge. The crew were reported to be safe although it’s not clear if they have been evacuated from the Dali.

The BBC said Singapore-based Synergy Marine Group had confirmed that its vessel the Dali was involved in an accident. It said in a statement, “While the exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined, the Dali has now mobilised its Qualified Individual Incident Response Service.” Synergy Marine also confirmed that the crew were safe, also the two pilots on board and the captain. Synergy Marine is reportedly founded by an Indian, has an Indian CEO with probably the captain, first mate, and chief engineer also Indians.

“Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling it “an unthinkable tragedy.”

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The fire chief said authorities “may be looking for upwards of seven people” but said that number could change. It was not clear if the two rescued were included in the seven.

Sonar has indicated that there are vehicles in the water, where the temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) in the early hours of Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Earlier, Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press that several vehicles were on the bridge at the time, including one the size of a tractor-trailer truck.

He called the collapse a “developing mass casualty event,” though he didn’t know at the time how many people were affected.