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Two Rescued, 6 Unaccounted for After Maryland Bridge Taken Down by Cargo Ship

By Xinhua|Mar 27,2024

One of the two individuals saved from water is in the hospital and the other is fine. Rescue teams continue to search for missing people in the water.

Photo taken on March 26, 2024 shows the collapsed bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, the United States. (Photo/Hu Yousong, Xinhua)

Baltimore, the United States - Maryland officials said on Tuesday that two people have been rescued while six others are still unaccounted for following the collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld told reporters at a news conference that eight people were on the bridge when it was struck by a cargo ship in the Patapsco River in the early hours of Tuesday.

One of the two individuals saved from water is in the hospital and the other is fine. Rescue teams continue to search for missing people in the water.

"The preliminary investigation points to an accident," Maryland Governor Wes Moore said. "We haven't seen any credible evidence of a terrorist attack."

The crew on the ship notified authorities they had lost power and issued a "mayday" call before it collided with the 2.6-kilometer-long, four-lane bridge, according to Moore.

The White House said on Tuesday that U.S. President Joe Biden "has been briefed on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and the ongoing search and rescue efforts," adding that he "will continue to receive updates from his team throughout the day."

Biden will address the incident later on Tuesday, according to reports.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that they "are closely monitoring the tragic situation unfolding."

"There are no indications this was an intentional act and we are assessing the impacts to the Port of Baltimore," Mayorkas added.

The U.S. Coast Guard said that it received a report saying a Singapore-flagged container vessel collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge at 1:27 a.m. (0527 GMT) on Tuesday, and that it is coordinating with local, state, and federal agencies in response to the incident.

Kweisi Mfume, who represents Maryland's 7th congressional district that encompasses parts of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, wrote on X that "the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is an unthinkable horror."

"Our prayers right now are for the missing individuals and victims of this tragedy," Mfume said.

Danish shipping giant Maersk said in a statement on Tuesday that the container ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge is "DALI", which is owned by Grace Ocean, and operated by Synergy Group.

"It is time chartered by Maersk and is carrying Maersk customers' cargo," the statement read. "No Maersk crew and personnel were onboard the vessel."

"Due to the damage to the bridge and resulting debris, it will not be possible to reach the Helen Delich Bentley port of Baltimore for the time being. In line with this, we are omitting Baltimore on all our services for the foreseeable future, until it is deemed safe for passage through this area," Maersk said.

Synergy Group, based in Singapore, confirmed the safety of all crew members and pilots without any reported injuries or pollution. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, which opened to traffic in March 1977, carried an estimated 11.5 million vehicles annually.

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