Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Six Workers Missing As Rescue Efforts Intensify

Rescuers in Baltimore are in a race against time as they search for six missing roadworkers following a catastrophic bridge collapse caused by an out-of-control container ship.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge came crashing down into the Patapsco River after the vessel collided with a pylon at about 1:30am local time (4:30pm AEDT), trapping workers and vehicles in the debris.

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“The whole bridge just fell down,” one officer reported in a frantic police radio call.

While eight people were initially reported on the bridge during the collapse, two have been rescued. 

However, six workers remain unaccounted for, prompting a massive search-and-rescue operation.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore praised the swift action taken after the ship’s crew issued a mayday call, allowing authorities to halt traffic on the bridge.

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“By being able to stop cars from coming over the bridge, these people are heroes,” he said. “They saved lives.”

President Joe Biden said: “Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families, especially those waiting for the news of their loved one right now.”

The Singapore-flagged container vessel Dali, confirmed by its operators Synergy Group, had a crew of 22 members, all Indian nationals. 

Synergy assured that all crew, including the two pilots, were safe and that no injuries or environmental damage had been reported. 

The ownership of Dali lies with Grace Ocean Private Ltd, which is also headquartered in Singapore.

Investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing, with authorities ruling out terrorism but emphasising the need for a thorough inquiry.

“I know every minute in that circumstance feels like a lifetime,” President Biden said.

The bridge, named after the author of America’s national anthem, Francis Scott Key, has stood since 1977.

Mr Moore said the bridge was an important commuter route, serving over 30,000 Marulanders daily. 

“And so to hear the words that the Key Bridge has collapsed, it’s shocking and heartbreaking.”

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