Rescuers scramble to save dozens including 20 construction workers after Baltimore’s colossal Key Bridge collapsed when container ship crashed into it flinging ‘multiple’ cars and a semi-truck into the river amid fears of mass casualties

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Written By Maya Cantina

Rescue workers in Baltimore are working furiously in an attempt to save the lives of dozens of people who were plunged into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River when the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed after being hit by a container ship. 

Initial reports indicate that at least a dozen cars hit the 47 degree water in addition to a 20 or so construction workers who were working on the bridge at the time. 

There appeared to be an explosion on the container ship as it collided with the bridge, sending containers and diesel flooding into the water.  

The ship involved is the Dali, a Singaporean-flagged container which could be seen on ship tracking websites positioned stationary under the bridge following the crash. 

Multiple boats marked as Coast Guard search and rescue vessels were surrounding the ship at around 3am Eastern.  

The astonishing moment when the bridge, which sits 1,200 feet above the river, collapsed was caught on camera. Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, called the situation ‘a dire emergency.’ 

Around 30,000 vehicles use the bridge every day. As a result of the collapse, the city of Baltimore is now cut off for traffic from the sea.

A picture showing the aftermath of the collapse as the sky begins to brighten in Baltimore, the Dali can be seen to the right with many containers still in tact 

One local official described the situation as a 'dire emergency'

One local official described the situation as a ‘dire emergency’

Astonishing footage shows the moment the vessel plowed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, sending the colossal steel structure crashing into the Patapsco River, shortly before 1.30am Eastern

Astonishing footage shows the moment the vessel plowed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, sending the colossal steel structure crashing into the Patapsco River, shortly before 1.30am Eastern

The moment the vessel collided with the huge steel structure, sending it crashing down

The moment the vessel collided with the huge steel structure, sending it crashing down

The bridge collapsing into the Patapsco River

The bridge collapsing into the Patapsco River

There were no immediate reports of any casualties but there did appear to be traffic on the bridge at the time of the catastrophe

There were no immediate reports of any casualties but there did appear to be traffic on the bridge at the time of the catastrophe

A livestream showed the disaster unfolding, with the vessel plowing into a pile holding up the central part of the bridge. The road and steel arches immediately tumble into the water

A livestream showed the disaster unfolding, with the vessel plowing into a pile holding up the central part of the bridge. The road and steel arches immediately tumble into the water

The 1.6-mile bridge, which is part of I-695, crosses the Patapsco River in Baltimore's harbor. Built in 1977, the main span of the truss bridge at 1,200ft is the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world

The 1.6-mile bridge, which is part of I-695, crosses the Patapsco River in Baltimore’s harbor. Built in 1977, the main span of the truss bridge at 1,200ft is the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world

The Dali container ship is pictured in a file photo off the Port of Felixstowe in the United Kingdom in September 2018

The Dali container ship is pictured in a file photo off the Port of Felixstowe in the United Kingdom in September 2018

A livestream showed the disaster unfolding, with the vessel plowing into a pile holding up the central part of the bridge. The road and steel arches immediately tumble into the water. 

The Dali ship was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka. It’s unclear what cargo it was holding. The vessel was due to land in Asia on April 27. At the time of writing, the 300 meter long, 50 meter wide ship is marooned under the bridge.

It arrived in Baltimore from Norfolk on Monday. 

The 1.6-mile bridge, which is part of I-695, crosses the Patapsco River in Baltimore’s harbor. Built in 1977, the main span of the truss bridge at 1,200ft is the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world.

The structure carries around 12million vehicles every year. It carries the Baltimore Beltway/Interstate 695 over the river. 

Among those responding to the scene are the Harford County Fire and EMS as well as volunteer firefighters from the Volunteer Swift Water Team and the Harford County Department of Emergency Services’ Special Operations Team.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a tweet that his office is monitoring the situation and working with the mayor’s office and other local officials. ‘Our prayers remain with all those impacted,’ Olszweski said.  

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