Major Bridge Collapses After Getting Struck By Ship

Major Bridge Collapses After Getting Struck By Ship

( – More than 600,000 bridges exist in the United States, helping drivers avoid barriers like large bodies of water or valleys that would add more time to their trips. Unfortunately, while engineers have designed them with safety and security in mind, these structures often become subject to the mercy of external elements. A tragic accident in Baltimore, Maryland, recently highlighted these dangers.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 26, a container ship lost power as river currents sent it directly toward the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The ship’s operator called in a mayday, which allowed officials to halt traffic on both sides of the structure, but road workers remained on the structure filling potholes. Then, the unthinkable happened. The vessel collided with one of the bridge support piers, sending the structure crashing into the Patapsco River.

According to Clay Diamond of the American Pilots Association, experts on-shore advised the ship’s crew to turn the vessel as far to the left as they could and drop the anchor to prevent or slow the ship’s approach to the bridge. However, their efforts were unsuccessful.

The collision and collapse sent eight people who worked with Brawner Builders into the raging waters below. Rescuers pulled two from the water, but six remained missing as of the time of writing. One of the two rescued men came through unscathed, while doctors treated the other for minor injuries at a local hospital and discharged him.

Authorities suspended search efforts for the missing workers on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said they transitioned their efforts to recovery because of several contributing factors, including the “extensive search efforts [they] put into it [and] the water temperature,” searchers didn’t expect “to find any of these individuals still alive.” All the missing individuals were presumed dead.

Divers hit the waters again at 6 a.m. Wednesday, hoping to find the workers’ bodies so they could give the victims’ families closure. As of the time of writing, two bodies have been found.

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