(VIDEO) Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Cargo Ship Collision, Vehicles Fall Into Water

A 948-foot Singapore-flagged cargo vessel collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday morning, resulting in its collapse into the Patapsco River shortly before 1:30 a.m. Reports indicate that eight people plunged 184 feet into the 47-degree water below. Six are presumed dead after exhaustive rescue efforts.

“Based on the length of time that has gone on in the search, the extensive search efforts that we’ve put into it, the water temperature, at this point we do not believe we are going to find any of these individuals still alive,” US Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath told reporters.

Maryland State Police Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. announced that the search will shift to a recovery operation from search-and-rescue, with divers scheduled to re-enter the water at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Butler emphasized the risks associated with diving under current conditions, citing fluctuating currents, frigid temperatures, extremely limited visibility, and numerous unidentified objects in the water.

The 1.6-mile-long bridge, which is part of I-695, was built in 1977 and crosses into Baltimore’s harbor. Approximately 30,000 vehicles use the bridge every day.

Francis Scott Key, after whom the bridge is named, is thought to have been seated close to the bridge’s location when he observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814. This experience is believed to have inspired him to pen the lyrics of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”


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