Major Shipping Bridge Collapses in Baltimore, Prompting Massive Rescue Effort

By Noah Aderoju, JKNM Reporter

A CATASTROPHIC event unfolded early Tuesday as Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, a critical lifeline for East Coast Shipping, collapsed following a collision with a sizeable cargo ship.

The disaster has triggered an urgent and extensive rescue mission, with authorities striving to save lives of those affected amidst the chaos.

Chief James Wallace of the Baltimore City Fire Department revealed in a press briefing that the catastrophe unfolded around 1.30am when a vessel collided with the Key Bridge, causing a section of it to collapse into the Patapsco River below. Several vehicles were on the bridge at the time of impact and were sent plunging into the water.

Rescue efforts have been underway, with two individuals already pulled out from the water. One individual escaped unharmed, but the condition of the other remains dire, described as “very serious” by Wallace.

Despite these rescues, at least, seven people are believed to be still in the water, although the exact count in uncertain due to ongoing search and rescue operations.

The vessel responsible for the collision remains on the scene, with its crew onboard awaiting assessment for damage before rescuers can access it. Wallace emphasized the collaborative effort between multiple local, state and federal agencies coordinating the search, which extends across both the surface and depths of the river.

Utilizing a variety of resources including rivers, helicopters and sonar technology, authorities have located several submerged vehicles. However, challenges persist due to factors like darkness and the river’s tidal influence.

Maryland Governor, Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency, mobilizing interagency teams to swiftly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration.

Similarly, Baltimore Mayor, Brandon Scott expressed his shock and sorrow over the incident, labeling it an “unthinkable tragedy” during a press conference. He noted that the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge marks a significant blow to regional transportation and has sparked urgent calls for enhanced safety measures and maritime regulations to prevent similar disasters in the future.

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