Ship Carrying 22 Indian Crew Members Collides with Baltimore Bridge

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Ship Carrying 22 Indian Crew Members Collides with Baltimore Bridge

| Updated: March 26, 2024 20:59

A large container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday, causing the bridge to break in several places and fall into the Patapsco River below. The incident, which was captured in a video posted on social media platform X, resulted in multiple vehicles plunging into the chilly waters. Rescue operations are currently underway for at least seven people.

The vessel, which was operated by Synergy Marine Group and chartered by Danish shipping company Maersk, appeared to have collided with one of the bridge’s supports. Following the collision, the ship caught fire, sending thick, black smoke billowing into the air. Some cargo from the ship was seen dangling from the damaged bridge.

The press officer for Synergy Marine Group informed the BBC that the vessel had an all-Indian crew of 22 people on board. The company later confirmed that all crew members, including two pilots, were accounted for and uninjured. The vessel, named Dali, was en route to Colombo, Sri Lanka from Baltimore at the time of the accident.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency in response to the incident. Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. have confirmed that emergency personnel are responding and rescue efforts are in progress.

Reports suggest that maintenance work was being carried out on the bridge at the time of the incident, with eight construction crews present. These crews fell into the water when the bridge collapsed. So far, two people have been rescued, one unharmed and one critically injured, while six remain missing.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, which carries 1.3 million vehicles a year and is part of the I-695 highway, also known as the Baltimore Beltway, was opened in 1977. The four-lane steel bridge, which took five years to construct at an estimated cost of $110 million, spans 1.6 miles over the Patapsco River.

The bridge’s collapse has left ships stranded at the Port of Baltimore. According to ship tracking and maritime analytics provider MarineTraffic, at least 40 ships, including small cargo ships, tugboats and pleasure craft, were inside the Baltimore port as of Tuesday.

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