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Mass Casualty Declared as Large Container Ship Collides with Francis Scott Key Bridge, Resulting in Total Collapse

Multiple vehicles descended into the frigid waters, prompting rescue operations to search for survivors.



Early Tuesday, a container ship collided with a significant bridge in Baltimore, resulting in its rupture and subsequent plunge into the river below.

Multiple vehicles descended into the frigid waters, prompting rescue operations to search for survivors.

The cause of the cargo ship’s collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, occurring well before the bustling morning commute, remained unclear, marking what one official described as a “developing mass casualty event” in a major American city near Washington.

While two individuals were rescued, the number of potential additional victims within the busy harbor, adjacent to a crucial port, remained uncertain.

Striking one of the bridge’s supports, the ship caused the structure to fracture rapidly, resembling the collapse of a toy, as captured in a startling video shared on social media. Subsequently, the vessel ignited, emitting dense, black smoke.

“Seeing the Key Bridge collapse in such a manner, it’s something you’d never expect to witness firsthand. It seemed straight out of an action-packed movie,” remarked Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, describing it as “an unimaginable tragedy.”

Fire Chief James Wallace suggested that authorities might need to search for as many as seven individuals, though he cautioned that this figure could fluctuate, with other officials refraining from providing precise numbers.

The status of the two individuals rescued was unclear in relation to the seven mentioned by the fire chief. Officials mentioned that a crew, of an undetermined size, was working on the bridge when it collapsed, and sonar equipment had detected submerged cars in the approximately 50-foot-deep water.

Prior to dawn on Tuesday, the water temperature measured around 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius), according to data collected by a buoy affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Earlier, Kevin Cartwright, the Director of Communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, informed Channel3 NOW that numerous vehicles, including one resembling a tractor-trailer truck, were present on the bridge when it collapsed.

The incident occurred during the night, a time when traffic tends to be lighter compared to the bustling daytime traffic flow.

Cartwright characterized the collapse as a “developing mass casualty event,” although he lacked precise information regarding the number of individuals affected. Synergy Marine Group, the owner and manager of the vessel named the Dali, confirmed that the ship collided with a bridge pillar around 1:30 a.m.

The vessel was under the guidance of one or more local pilots, specialized navigators assisting vessels in safe port navigation. The company assured that all crew members, including the two pilots onboard, were safe, with no reports of injuries.

As dawn broke on Tuesday, the fractured remnants of the bridge protruded from the water’s surface, with the on-ramp abruptly halting where the span once began.