Millennium Post (Kolkata)

All 6 workers missing after Baltimore bridge collapse presumed dead


It was the middle of the night when a dispatcher’s warning crackled over the radio: A massive cargo ship had lost its steering capabiliti­es and was heading toward the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Within about 90 seconds, police officers who happened to be nearby responded that they managed to stop vehicle traffic over the Baltimore bridge in both directions.

One parked sideways across the lanes and planned to drive onto the bridge to alert a constructi­on crew once another officer arrived.

But he wouldn’t get the chance. Powerless and laden with huge containers, the vessel smashed into a support pillar.

“The whole bridge just fell down,” a frantic officer said. “Start, start whoever, everybody ... the whole bridge just collapsed.”

When the container ship Dali slammed into the pillar around 1:30 am Tuesday, it caused a long span of the bridge, a major link in the region’s transport networks, to crumple into the Patapsco River.

The loss of the bridge is expected to snarl commuter traffic and disrupt a vital shipping port.

At least eight people went into the water. Two were rescued but the other six, part of a constructi­on crew that had been filling potholes

on the bridge, were missing and presumed dead. A search for their bodies was underway Wednesday morning, according to Maryland State Police spokespers­on Elena Russo.

Among the missing were people from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, according to diplomats from those countries. The Honduran man was identified as Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandova.

Federal and state officials have said the crash appeared to be an accident.

Investigat­ors on Wednesday plan to collect evidence on the ship, including electronic­s and paperwork, said National Transporta­tion Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy.

The US Coast Guard already boarded the vessel and downloaded the voyage data recorder and sent it to the NTSB, which is putting together a timeline of what led to the crash, Homendy said.

 ?? PTI ?? A container ship rests against wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Wednesday
PTI A container ship rests against wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Wednesday

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