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A mass casualty event was declared in Baltimore, Maryland after a container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse into the Patapsco River. The steel arches of the 1.6 mile-long bridge crumbled into the water around 1:30 a.m., with at least seven people confirmed to have been in the river at the time. Emergency services, including a dive and rescue team, were on the scene working to rescue and recover individuals who had fallen into the water.

The Baltimore City Fire Department’s communications chief described the incident as a “developing mass casualty event” and emphasized the dire emergency nature of the situation. A YouTube livestream captured the moment the bridge collapsed, while the US Coast Guard and the Maryland Transportation Authority confirmed the crash but did not provide further details. All lanes of the bridge were closed in both directions, with traffic being detoured as emergency response teams raced to the scene.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. noted that rescue efforts were ongoing and urged prayers for those impacted by the tragedy. The surrounding body of water was reported to be filled with diesel, adding to the challenges faced by emergency responders. The container ship involved in the crash, the Dali, had departed from Baltimore just before the incident and was en route to Colombo, Sri Lanka, according to MarineTraffic data.

Multiple Coast Guard boats were deployed to assist in the search and rescue efforts, with Mayor Brandon M. Scott en route to the scene to coordinate emergency response efforts. The Baltimore Police Department confirmed that workers were potentially in the water following the bridge collapse, but the exact number was still uncertain. All lanes of the bridge remained closed as authorities worked to secure the area and assess the extent of the damage to the structure, which was constructed in 1977 as part of I-695 crossing into Baltimore’s harbor.

In a statement, Detective Niki Fennoy confirmed that Baltimore City police were notified of the partial bridge collapse at 1:35 a.m. and were responding to reports of workers in the water. As updates continued to come in, the Maryland Transportation Authority advised motorists to seek alternate routes and stay clear of the area. The situation remained fluid as emergency teams combed the river for any additional individuals who may have been impacted by the bridge collapse. The investigation into the cause of the crash and subsequent collapse was ongoing, with further information expected to be released as it became available.

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