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Home » Divers And Sonar Crews Race Against The Tide As They Desperately Search For Survivors Of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Amid Fears TWENTY Victims Plunged Into Freezing 47F Waters: Two Are Saved With One In A Critical Condition

Divers And Sonar Crews Race Against The Tide As They Desperately Search For Survivors Of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Amid Fears TWENTY Victims Plunged Into Freezing 47F Waters: Two Are Saved With One In A Critical Condition

Baltimore officials are racing to save up to 20 people who plunged into the Patapsco River after a Singaporean-flagged cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge at 1.30am.

Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning following the catastrophic collision that occurred at 1.30am. 

The ship – the Singaporean-flagged Dali – was 20 minutes into its journey when it slammed into a support column on the bridge. 

It remains unclear what led to the crash. Video shows the ship going dark seconds before the collision, suggesting a power failure on board. The crew of 22 remains onboard and is now being questioned by the Coast Guard. 

In the meantime, Maryland authorities are using sonar detection devices to search for the vehicles that plunged into the 47F water. 

Among those missing are members of a construction crew who were carrying out ‘concrete repairs’ on the bridge at the time. 

Baltimore officials are on a race to save up to 20 people who plunged into the Patapsco River after a Singaporean cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge

Rescue personnel gather on the shore of the Patapsco River

The Maryland Department of Transportation said there is an active search and rescue mission as of 7.30am 

Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning following the catastrophic collision at about 1.30am

Astonishing footage shows the moment the vessel plowed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, sending the colossal steel structure crashing into the Patapsco River

The bridge spans 9,000 feet across the Patapsco River and is 180 feet above the water

The Maryland Department of Transportation said there is an active search and rescue mission as of 7.30am. 

Initial reports indicate that at least a dozen cars hit the 47 degree water in addition to a 20 or so construction workers who were doing concrete repair work on the bridge at the time. The workers were pouring concrete on to the bridge at the time of crash.

At the first press conference around 6:30 am, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace could only confirm that two people were pulled from the water. One was unhurt, the other had to be rushed to a local hospital with ‘serious injuries.’ 

The FBI has ruled out terrorism as a cause to the crash. 

Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on X: ‘I’ve spoken with Gov. Moore and Mayor Scott to offer USDOT’s support following the vessel strike and collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge. 

‘Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response.’

It was not immediately clear what caused the cargo ship to crash into the bridge long before the busy morning commute in what one official called a ‘developing mass casualty event’ in a major American city just outside of Washington. 

‘Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,’ said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling it ‘an unthinkable tragedy.’ 

‘Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response,’ said transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg

‘Pilots move ships in and out of the Port of Baltimore,’ said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld at a news conference Tuesday

‘Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,’ said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott

Maryland Governor Wes Moore (C) walks with staff and law enforcement along the shore of the Patapsco River

It was not immediately clear what caused the cargo ship to crash into the bridge

According to an early Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) report, the container ship ‘lost propulsion’ as it was leaving port. 

‘The vessel notified MD Department of Transportation (MDOT) that they had lost control of the vessel and an allision with the bridge was possible,’ the report said. ‘The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse.’

The ship crashed into one of the bridge’s supports, causing the structure to snap and buckle at several points and tumble into the water in a matter of seconds — a shocking spectacle that was captured on video and posted on social media. The vessel caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed out of it. 

The rescue effort incorporates Coast Guard ships, local police boats, Baltimore’s Fire Department, volunteer fire departments from the surrounding areas as well as teams of divers as the desperate search for survivors goes on. 

There appeared to be an explosion on the container ship as it collided with the bridge sending container and diesel flooding into the water. One of the vehicles that fell to the water was a tractor-trailer.

The ship was not being piloted by its own crew but by local pilots who are used to specifically avoid accidents.

‘Pilots move ships in and out of the Port of Baltimore,’ said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld at a news conference Tuesday. 

The ship involved is the 948 foot long Dali, a Singaporean-flagged container which could be seen on ship tracking websites positioned stationary under the bridge following the crash.

The ship involved is the 948 foot long Dali, a Singaporean-flagged container

The ship crashed into one of the bridge’s supports, causing the structure to snap and buckle at several points

Paul J. Wiedefeld, center, Maryland’s transportation secretary, works near the scene

An aerial view of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after the collision

It left Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal at 12:24am, at 1:25am, is began to slow and diverted off of its course. The video shows lights going off on board just before the crash.

The Dali ship was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka. It’s unclear what cargo it was holding. The vessel was due to land in Asia on April 27. 

According to the ship’s owners, all crew members were accounted for with no injuries reported. 

Around 30,000 vehicles use the bridge, which is named for the writer of the Star Spangled Banner, every day. It opened in 1977. 

Sonar has indicated that there are vehicles in the water, where the temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit in the early hours of Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Earlier, Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press that several vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the collapse, including one the size of a tractor-trailer truck. 

The bridge came down in the middle of night when traffic would be lighter than during the day when thousands of cars traverse the span.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley, with Mayor Brandon Scott (R) and Fire Department Chief James Wallace (L), speaks at a press conference on the collapse

At the first press conference around 6:30 am, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace could only confirm that two people were pulled from the water

In the wake of the collapse, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth told the BBC that it appears as the the ship ‘strayed’ rather to the side rather than going under the center of the bridge.

‘But for whatever reason it must have strayed off and has hit the support.’

‘The support is a very, relatively, flimsy structure when you look at it, it’s a kind of trestle structure with individual legs. So, the bridge has collapsed simply as a result of this very large impact force,’ he added.

In a separate interview with CNN, Cartwright said that structural engineers will need to study the condition of the bridge prior to the incident.

‘This is a very devastating incident in which these individuals have encountered so our hearts go out to each and every one of them, and we will be working valiantly throughout the early morning to address this,’ he said.

In 2001, a freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in a tunnel in downtown Baltimore and caught fire, spewing black smoke into surrounding neighborhoods and forcing officials to temporarily close all major roads into the city.