Cargo Ship Suddenly Lost Power Before Ramming Francis Scott Key Bridge, Shutting Down Vital US Port

The city of Baltimore is reeling in the aftermath of a shocking bridge disaster that unfolded overnight, shutting down one of America’s largest ports. 

Officials say a container ship suddenly lost power and issued a “Mayday call” before ramming into the Francis Scott Key Bridge around 1:30 a.m.  That emergency alert did give authorities a quick window to limit vehicle traffic on the span.

The structure crumbled on impact and large pieces tumbled into the river below. Road workers who were on the bridge at the time tumbled into the frigid waters, along with several vehicles.    

At least two people were rescued and authorities have been working to recover at least six more.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore weighed in on the disaster saying, “The preliminary investigation points to an accident. We haven’t seen any credible evidence of a terrorist attack. Our administration is working closely with leaders from all levels of government and society to respond to this crisis. And not just by addressing the immediate aftermath, but also by building a state that is more resilient and a state that’s more safe.”
President Joe Biden also addressed the crisis saying, “We’re going to send all the federal resources they need as we respond to this emergency. I mean all the federal resources. We’re going to rebuild that port together. Everything so far indicates this was a terrible accident. At this time, we have no other indication, no other reason to believe there was any intentional act here.”

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

The shocking spectacle of the collision and immediate collapse was captured on video and posted on social media. The ship quickly caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed out of it.

The bridge collapse is expected to shut down a vital U.S. shipping hub for months, coming at a time when prices for essential goods are already at record highs that many Americans are struggling to afford.

“Losing this bridge will devastate the entire area, as well as the entire East Coast,” Maryland state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling said.

The badly damaged bridge stretches 1.6 miles and last year was used by 12 million vehicles. 

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