Six presumed dead after Baltimore bridge collapse

The Francis Scott Kelly Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early on Tuesday morning after being struck by a large container ship. The ship’s crew sent out a mayday signal just before it struck a support column, plunging the bridge, along with the vehicles on it, into the dark waters of the Patapsco River. As the vessel neared the bridge, puffs of black smoke could be seen as the lights flickered on and off. With the ship barreling toward the bridge at “a very, very rapid speed,” authorities had just enough time to stop cars from coming over the bridge, Maryland Governor Wes Moore said.

Six people are missing and presumed dead, and the search for them was suspended until Wednesday morning, Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath of the U.S. Coast Guard said at a news conference Tuesday evening. Two people were rescued from the water. One was not injured, and the other was taken to a local trauma center in a serious condition. All eight people were part of a construction crew employed by a local company, Brawner Builders, and were filling potholes on the bridge at the time.

The US Coast Guard says it is suspending its search and rescue efforts for the six individuals still missing until Wednesday morning. “I’d like to announce tonight that based on the length of time that we’ve gone in this search, the extensive search efforts we’ve put into it, the water temperature, that at this point we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath told reporters at a Tuesday evening news conference.

The bridge collapse has indefinitely halted the flow of ships in and out of the Port of Baltimore, which is a vital shipping route. This could hurt the local economy, strain supply chains and scramble deliveries along the East Coast.

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