Huge Baltimore Bridge Destroyed By Nighttime Rogue Ship Collision, Port Closed.

Photo: United States Department of Homeland Security. The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.
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A container ship almost 1000 feet long collided with a long bridge carrying a  four-lane Interstate Highway in the U.S. East coast port of Baltimore in the dark hours before dawn today, causing the whole bridge to collapse and sending a number of cars and people plunging into the icy waters of the river.

A live video posted on YouTube showed the ship smashing into the bridge in darkness. The headlights of vehicles could be seen on the bridge as it flopped into the water and the ship caught fire.

“The preliminary investigation points to an accident,” Maryland Governor Wes Moore said at a briefing in which he said that terrorism had already been ruled out as a cause.Eight people were on the bridge at the time of the collision and six of those still remain unaccounted for, the state’s transportation secretary said in a morning annoucement, which closed one of the main ports on the East Coast of the US, that is particularly involved in shipping cars.

The bridge collapsed at  1:27 a.m. acording to the US coastguard and it imediately semt out crews for an active search and rescue mission to rescue persons who had fallen into the river.

Work crews had been repairing potholes on the bridge at the time of the collapse and sonar detected vehicles under the water, which was about 50 feet deep at that point, said Paul Wiedefeld, Maryland Secretary of Transportation.The bridge was up to code and there were no known structural issues, Moore said. He said the vessel’s crew members notified authorities of a loss of power on the ship before the crash.

ABC News reported that the ships engines had lost power as it was leaving port and that the crew had immediately notified port authorities that the ship was out of control, citing an unclassified U.S. intelligence report.

Shipping traffic was suspended at the Port of Baltimore until further notice, Maryland transportation authorities said. It is the busiest U.S. port for car shipments, handling more than 750,000 vehicles in 2022, according to port data.

 

The Francis Scott Key bridge was the main roads for drivers between New York and Washington on I-95 as it enabled them to bypass central Baltimore which can be a logjam at certain times of day.

The Singapore-flagged ship was identified as the Dali, owned by Grace Ocean Pte Ltd and managed by Synergy Marine Corp.

Synergy said the Dali collided with one of the pillars of the bridge and that all its crew members, including the two pilots, had been accounted for and there were no reports of any onboard injuries.

Sources: CNN, BBC, Reuters, news agencies, YouTube.
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