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United States: Baltimore bridge collapses, hit by ship

A major highway bridge in Baltimore, on the east coast of the United States, collapsed. early Tuesday morning after having been there. hit by a container ship, taking vehicles and people with it as it falls.

Rescuers are searching for at least seven people in the water and underwater around the immense twisted metal structure, in a spectacular deployment of resources including drones, helicopters and divers.

“Our sonar detected the presence of vehicles submerged in the water,” said James Wallace, the city's fire chief. “I don’t have the number yet,” he added.

CCTV footage shows what appears to be a container ship hitting a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to fall into the river along with much of the structure's metal structure.

We see lights that appear to be those of vehicles on the bridge, before it deforms and falls in pieces, around 1:30 a.m. local time (05:30 GMT).

“We were woken up by a kind of earthquake and a long, resounding crash,” said a local resident, whose windows overlook the bridge, quoted by CNN.

United States: Baltimore bridge collapses, hit by ship


Among the potential victims are workers who worked on the structure, which spans the mouth of the Patapsco River.

“He does not “There is absolutely no indication that this was a terrorist act, that this was a deliberate act,” said Baltimore Police Chief Richard Worley.

– Crucial road axis –

The four-lane bridge is 2.6 km long, southwest of Baltimore, a large American industrial and port city, in the state of Maryland, about 60 kilometers northeast of Washington.

It is a crucial north/south axis for transportation and the economy of the east coast of the United States. It is named after a native son, Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to the American national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

All Access to the bridge was blocked by a large deployment of police forces, noted an AFP journalist on site.

The governor of the US state of Maryland has declared a state of emergency. “We are working with a multi-agency team to quickly deploy the Biden administration's federal resources,” Governor Wes Moore said on the X network.

The site Marine Traffic Tracker MarineTraffic showed a Singapore-flagged container ship named Dali stopped under the bridge early Tuesday.

United States: Baltimore bridge collapses, hit by ship

The Francis Scott Key Bridge after collapsing in Baltimore, United States, March 26, 2024 © AFP – Jim WATSON

Danish shipping giant Maersk confirmed it had chartered the vessel, operated by shipping company Synergy Group.

“We are horrified by what happened in Baltimore and we send our thoughts to those affected,” Maersk wrote in a statement.

Managers of the Singapore-flagged ship said Tuesday that there were no injuries among the crew members. “All crew members, including the two pilots, have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported,” Synergy Marine Group wrote on its website.

The mayor of Baltimore spoke of “an inconceivable tragedy.” “We need to think about the families and the people affected, the people we need to look for, for now we are focusing on that,” added Brandon Scott in a press conference.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116