Cargo Ship Collision Causes Baltimore Bridge Collapse, Six Missing Presumed Dead

A catastrophic event unfolded early Tuesday morning in Baltimore as the city’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River after being struck by a 984-foot cargo ship. Tragically, six individuals, presumed to be construction workers, are missing and presumed dead following the collapse.

The collision occurred when the massive container ship, named the Dali, hit one of the bridge’s pillars, causing a section to buckle and crash into the river below. Despite a day-long search and rescue effort, hopes of finding survivors dwindled due to the frigid water and the passage of time since the accident. The U.S. Coast Guard announced Tuesday evening that the mission would transition to recovery.

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a critical link connecting Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, has sparked fears of economic disruption and logistical nightmares. The bridge, which scored a “fair” rating in its latest inspection, had a history of concern regarding one of its columns. However, experts believe the impact from the cargo ship, rather than structural issues, caused the collapse.

Authorities revealed that the Dali experienced a complete blackout shortly before the collision, losing both engine and electrical power. Despite efforts by the crew, including dropping anchor and contacting dispatch, the ship collided with the bridge, leading to a tragic chain of events.

Among the missing are individuals from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, including a father of three and a father of two, who had lived in the U.S. for nearly two decades. The collapse halts traffic at the Port of Baltimore, a vital hub for commerce along the East Coast, causing concerns about the impact on trade and the local economy.

As the search and rescue mission transitions to recovery, authorities brace for the logistical challenges ahead, emphasizing the need for a thorough investigation to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident. President Joe Biden has pledged a significant federal response, emphasizing that there is no evidence suggesting deliberate intent behind the collapse.

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