Ship hits bridge in Baltimore causing entire bridge to collapse (Video)

Ship hits bridge in Baltimore causing entire bridge to collapse (Video)

Baltimore (AP)— A cargo ship lost power and crashed into a key Baltimore bridge early Tuesday, demolishing it in seconds and plummeting it into the river. The port might be disrupted for months. Six were gone.

The ship's crew called a mayday just before the Francis Scott Key Bridge accident, allowing officials to block traffic, Maryland's governor said.

The bridge collapsed like a toy as the ship hit a support. It fell into the ocean in seconds, a startling sight recorded on film and social media. The ship caught fire and emitted heavy black smoke.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said officials had barely enough time to halt cars from crossing the bridge as the ship approached at “a very, very rapid speed.”

“These people are heroes,” Moore remarked. “They saved lives last night.”

The incident occurred in the middle of the night, before the morning commute on the 1.6-mile (2.6-km) bridge, used by 12 million cars last year.

The six missing were part of a bridge pothole-filling team, said state transportation secretary Paul Wiedefeld. He claimed one rescued person was hospitalized.

Multiple automobiles drove into the lake, but authorities didn't think anyone was inside.

“You would never think you would see the Key Bridge collapse. It looked like an action movie, said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling it “an unthinkable tragedy.”

Ship or barge collisions caused 35 significant bridge collapses globally from 1960 to 2015, according to the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure.

The collapse may disrupt ship traffic at the Port of Baltimore, a key East Coast shipping hub, for months or years. The crash will clog cargo and commuter traffic.

"Losing this bridge will devastate the entire area, as well as the East Coast," stated Maryland state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling.

Southern Virginia highway signage warned of bridge delays.

Sonar spotted cars in the 50-foot (15-meter) water, authorities added. A buoy that gathers NOAA data reported a water temperature of 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) before sunrise Tuesday.

The Dali, managed by Synergy Marine Group, hit a bridge pillar at 1:30 a.m. while under the guidance of one or more pilots, local professionals who lead ships safely into ports. The ship is owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd.

The governor reported 8 knots, or 9 mph (14.8 kph), for the ship.

Jagged bridge fragments protruded from the river. Where the span began, the on-ramp abruptly terminated.

A tremendous rumble rocked his residence for many seconds, waking former Baltimore fire chief Donald Heinbuch. “It felt like an earthquake,” he claimed.

He drove to the river's bank and was astonished.

He remarked, “The ship was there, and the bridge was in the water, like it was blown up.”

The bridge crosses the Patapsco River at the entrance to a bustling harbor on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The 1977 bridge honors the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Wiedefeld said all vessel movement into and out of the port would be halted until further notice, although trucks may still enter.

President Joe Biden said he would come to Baltimore “as quickly as I can” and that the federal government will pay to replace the bridge.

“This is going to take some time,” Biden remarked. The residents of Baltimore can depend on us to support them until the port is reopened and the bridge repaired.

On scene, the FBI found no credible evidence of terrorism.

Marine Traffic showed the Dali flying a Singapore flag from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The website says the cargo ship is 985 feet (300 meters) long and 157 feet (48 meters) broad.

Maersk claimed it chartered the ship. No Maersk staff were on board. Maersk shares fell 2% on Nasdaq Copenhagen early Tuesday after the crash.

According to the state, the Port of Baltimore handled a record 52.3 million tons of international cargo worth $80 billion last year. Over 444,000 people and cargo left the port in 2023.

According to Freightos head of research Judah Levine, the collapse is unlikely to affect global trade because Baltimore is not a major port for container vessels, but its facilities are more important for goods like farm equipment and cars.

Read the original article here.

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