Tragedy Strikes: Cargo Ship Collision and Bridge Sinking in Baltimore

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Tragedy Strikes: Cargo Ship Collision and Bridge Sinking in Baltimore

In a shocking incident, early on Tuesday morning, a cargo ship Dali hit up the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, and both the ship and bridge sank in the waters of the Patapsco River. The ship carried a total of 22 crew members and no injuries were reported against them. On Wednesday, forces retrieved two bodies while search operations for the other four men were being carried on. However, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said that searching for the remaining bodies would be pointless as there were no chances of their survival, taking into account the river water’s temperature and the time that passed by in between since the incident happened. 

It underwent a power cut moments before the cargo ship hit the Baltimore bridge. The crew even issued a mayday call and the vessel lost its steering system before striking one of the bridge’s towers. The huge ship carried 56 containers of hazardous materials such as corrosives, flammables, and lithium-ion batteries. Reports suggest that the ship was scheduled for routine maintenance once it was at the port. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath in a press conference confirmed, “As far as the engine goes, we were not informed of any problems with the vessel. We were informed that they were going to conduct routine engine maintenance on it while it was in port. And that’s the only thing we were informed about the vessel in that regard.”

Dali was on a voyage from Baltimore to Sri Lanka and is owned by Grace Ocean Private Limited, and Maersk claims that it was chartered by them. It had only covered a distance of four miles from the Seagirt Marine Terminal when the crash happened. The crew present on the ship is said to be an all-Indian crew.

Amidst the crisis, senior officials hail the crew members of the ship addressing them as the real “heroes” who saved the lives of so many people by issuing a mayday call. Their warning helped police forces and authorities to stop vehicles from entering the inter-state Baltimore bridge before it collapsed. 

Several videos capturing the tragedy have gone viral on various social networking sites, creating a stir for the viewers. Before the Tuesday tragedy, a similar shocking event took place in 2007 when an I-35W bridge had fallen into pieces in Minneapolis into the Mississippi River, subsequently taking away the lives of 13 people. 

The Importance of Baltimore Port

Baltimore’s port carried major of the trade of the cities around it. The consequences of this collapse have had mixed impacts. Situated in Maryland, this port is a center for many important imports and exports, but quite lately it gained attraction for its coal exports and automobile imports. Waterway trade routes have been diverted for the time being to avoid congestion on that route and ease commerce. 

Baltimore was a preferred destination for importers and exporters because of its cost and efficiency. Although a relatively big economic crisis, the aftermath of the event is said to be modest and localized. Until further notice, the port traffic of Baltimore has been stopped as of now.

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