Major incident in USA following bridge collapse

Emergency: Baltimore bridge destroyed by cargo ship

Stock image of Francis Scott Key Bridge. Credit: Jeff Covey/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a vital transport link bridge collapsed after it was struck by a cargo vessel.

On Tuesday, March 26, the residents of Baltimore woke up to the tragic scene, described by authorities as a ‘mass casualty event,’ with the latest reports suggesting there are more than 10 vehicles in the river.

The 17,540m structure in Baltimore met a catastrophic end after a collision with a large ship led to its partial destruction and subsequent tumble into the Patapsco River.

As the incident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge unfolded emergency responders hurried to the scene with uncertainty about the number of individuals on the bridge at the time of its failure.

The collision was caused by a Singapore-registered, 948-foot vessel named Dali, which struck the bridge around 1:30 am, as reported by Matthew West, a Coast Guard officer in Baltimore. Coast Guard teams were dispatched promptly to address the crisis.

The news was so unbelievable that one local Baltimore resident initially dismissed the news that the bridge had collapsed as an ‘April Fools’ joke’. It took the sight of the bridge’s wreckage for the gravity of the situation to sink in.

A swift and unified response

‘I came down just to see and I can’t believe it. It’s a major artery here in the area, not only for traffic, but for the port. Hopefully, everyone’s okay that’s involved in it today,’ said Michael Brown speaking to NBC News.

The initial belief was that an ‘earthquake’ had triggered the catastrophic failure. Brown commended the prompt ‘unified response’ from local emergency services, reflecting the community’s resilience in the face of disaster.

Preliminary reports from a Baltimore Fire Department highlighted at least seven individuals were feared to have fallen into the water.

The incident was described as an evolving critical emergency, with officials noting that the full extent of those impacted remained unclear.

Community and recovery

The collapse of the Key Bridge is a call to action for not just swift rescue operations but for the long-term planning necessary to rebuild and ensure such a critical asset’s resilience against future calamities.

As Baltimore begins to navigate this unexpected challenge, the focus remains on recovery efforts and supporting those directly impacted by this disaster.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.