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Major Bridge Collapses in Maryland After Cargo Ship Collision

Maryland: In a dramatic turn of events, the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a vital transportation artery in Baltimore, Maryland, collapsed early on Tuesday after a Singapore-flagged cargo ship collided with one of the bridge’s central supports, sending vehicles and several individuals plunging into the Patapsco River.

According to Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace, at least two individuals have been rescued from the river, with one person reported to be in serious condition. The collision occurred when the 948-foot (290-meter) cargo ship Dali, en route to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, collided with the bridge’s support structure shortly after departing Baltimore at 1 am.

“The coastguard received a report of an impact at 1.27 am ET,” stated petty officer first class for the coastguard in Baltimore, Matthew West, to the New York Times.

Video footage posted by Sky News on social media captured the moment when the vessel struck the bridge’s central support, causing a significant portion of the bridge to collapse and multiple vehicles to plummet into the river. Subsequently, the ship caught fire, emitting thick plumes of black smoke into the air.

“This is a dire emergency. Our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people. It is too early to know how many people were affected. Some cargo or retainers are dangling from the bridge, creating unsafe and unstable conditions for rescue operations,” explained Director of Communications for Baltimore Fire Department, Kevin Cartwright.

Synergy Marine Group, the manager of the ship, confirmed that two pilots had been located, and there were no reports of injuries among the crew.

“Emergency personnel are at the scene, and rescue efforts are underway,” remarked Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott and County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, constructed in 1977 and named after Francis Scott Key, the author of America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” serves as a crucial link in the region’s transportation network. The bridge’s collapse has prompted urgent rescue and recovery efforts as authorities work to assess the full extent of the damage and ensure the safety of those affected by the incident.

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