Baltimore Bridge Disaster: 6 Feared Dead, Search Efforts Halted

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The hunt for six individuals, vanished post a colossal ship’s collision with Baltimore’s Key Bridge resulting in its plunge, is momentarily halted.

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Coast Guard brass stated during a media briefing Tuesday night that the operation was put on pause at 7.30pm ET, set to recommence Wednesday morning, now pivoting to recovery with dive teams prepped to seek out the deceased.

Authorities reckon at least six folks are unaccounted, part of a Brawner Builders construction crew patching up potholes when the calamity struck.

Officials report two were rescued from the drink alive.

“Sadly, considering the duration of the search, the exhaustive efforts made, and the chilly water temps, we’ve come to conclude that survival is unlikely,” Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath declared.

Brawner Builders’ Jesus Campos disclosed to The Baltimore Banner that the missing are men in their prime, with families, hailing from across Central America.

“These gents are the epitome of hard work and humility,” Mr. Campos remarked to the news outlet.

Brawner’s EVP, Jeffrey Pritzker, pessimistically shared with the Banner his doubts about the workers’ survival, given the bridge’s descent into a 50-foot-deep bay amid frigid conditions.

“We’re heartbroken; it’s an unforeseeable, horrendous disaster,” Mr. Pritzker expressed.

As the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Patapsco River bore the brunt of the Dali vessel’s impact into a pillar at about 1.30am ET Tuesday, the scene turned chaotic.

With a mayday call issued just before the smash, Maryland Gov Wes Moore praised the alert for saving lives by halting bridge traffic.

The ship reached out to Maryland’s Transportation Department, forewarning of an imminent “allision,” which led to the bridge’s complete downfall.

The cause of the mishap remains a mystery, though the ship had only just embarked on its 27-day voyage to Sri Lanka.

Chilling footage shows the bridge’s dramatic descent into icy waters.

By Tuesday afternoon, Baltimore police confirmed the rescue of two individuals from the waters; one of them is now battling for life after being whisked to a trauma center in a critical state.

The other, unscathed, declined medical services.

Now, agencies are against the clock to save at least seven believed to be amidst the chilly waters, with temperatures dipping to around 30 °F (-1°C) during the incident.

Officials fear the missing tally could rise as sonar reveals submerged vehicles and information surfaces of workers present during the collision.

Baltimore City Fire Department’s Chief James Wallace described the search as covering a “vast incident and footprint.”

The search teams are wrestling with nightfall and a sprawling debris field, aiming to locate those in the waters for a lengthy period.

Chief Wallace informed CNN of the discovery of various vehicles, including a cement truck, underwater by employing infrared and side-scan sonar tech.

Following the catastrophe, Gov Moore declared a state of emergency, ensuring the mobilization of federal aid.

Kevin Cartwright, the fire department’s communications head, labeled it a “developing mass casualty event.”

Maryland’s governor has announced a State of Emergency post the tragic bridge collapse.

FlightRadar24 data depicted a Maryland State Police chopper circling the crash site.

Mr. Cartwright noted an ongoing multi-agency rescue mission, with divers actively scouring the river for those feared submerged.

The US Coast Guard has launched boats and helicopters to aid in the search for those presumed to be in the frosty waters, facing daunting conditions.

“The chill factor’s close to 30 degrees (-1°C), and the water’s even colder… posing risks to our diving team,” Mr. Cartwright told CNN.

The involved Singapore-flagged container ship, Dali, was tracked leaving Baltimore port, bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka.

All crew members, including two pilots on the ship, are safe and accounted for, as per the ship owners’ statement.

Officials have ruled out terrorism as a factor in this incident.

“No sign points to terrorism or intentional acts,” Chief Richard Worley assured.

President Joe Biden called the incident a “dreadful mishap” with no terror links. He pledged federal funds for bridge reconstruction, emphasizing the urgency of restoring a vital economic and life quality artery in the Northeast.

He highlighted the port’s importance, sustaining 15,000 jobs and serving 850,000 vehicles annually.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed discussions with Mayor Scott and Governor Moore to provide support post-collapse, stressing ongoing rescue operations.

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