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Ship collision destroys Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge

Emergency responders searching for dozens of people in the water.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship ran into it at 1:30 a.m. on March 26, 2024. Credit: WTOP News/Fair Use.
The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship ran into it at 1:30 a.m. on March 26, 2024. Credit: WTOP News/Fair Use.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, a vital transportation link across the Patapsco River in Baltimore, was the site of a harrowing incident on Tuesday morning. The massive Singapore-flagged Dali container ship collided with one of the bridge’s support pillars shortly before 1:30 a.m., igniting a blaze and eventually sinking beneath the waves.

The force of the impact was catastrophic, causing a portion of the bridge to collapse and plunging an estimated seven to 12 vehicles into the churning waters below. A Maryland Transportation Authority representative on the scene told rescuers the agency had at least 20 workers on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

Two people have been rescued so far, one in critical condition and one released without injury.

Synergy Marine Group, which owns the ship, said “all crew members were accounted for and there were no reports of any injuries to them.”

Interstate 695, a beltway around Baltimore, crossed over the bridge.

Eyewitnesses described a scene of chaos and panic as the structure gave way, with debris and wreckage scattered across the river.

Emergency crews, including fire and rescue personnel, rushed to the scene, working tirelessly to locate and extract any survivors from the submerged vehicles. The extent of injuries or casualties remains unknown at this time, as rescue operations are still underway.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, and authorities have not yet released any details regarding the nature or origin of the ill-fated vessel. However, speculation is rife that navigational errors or mechanical failures may have played a role in the tragedy.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, a crucial artery for commuters and commercial traffic, is likely to remain closed for an extended period as crews work to assess the structural integrity of the remaining portions and begin the daunting task of clearing the wreckage.

Commuters and residents in the Baltimore area are advised to seek alternative routes and exercise caution in the vicinity of the bridge until further notice.

As the sun rises over the city, the full extent of this catastrophic event will become clearer.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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