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Baltimore bridge collapse after ship strike raises concerns of mass casualties

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'Mass casualties' feared as Baltimore bridge collapses after being struck by ship (Ld)

In a tragic incident, parts of a bridge in the US state of Maryland collapsed early on Tuesday morning after being hit by a container ship, causing multiple vehicles to plunge into the water. The Baltimore Fire Department is currently searching for missing individuals. The incident occurred at nearly 1.30 a.m. (US local time), with concerns of mass fatalities.

Response teams are working to rescue approximately 20 individuals who may have fallen into the river when the four-lane Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed. The bridge, which opened in 1977, is a vital link of Interstate-695 and serves as the outermost crossing of the Baltimore harbor. The Maryland Transportation Authority has closed all lanes in both directions and is diverting traffic.

The container ship, identified as the Singaporean-flagged vessel DALI, collided with the bridge according to data from maritime monitoring sites and Coast Guard officers. The ship measures around 300 meters in length and 48 meters in width. The collision resulted in large plumes of smoke and fire, with video footage showing the boat heading towards a bridge column before impact.

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Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott is en route to the scene of the incident at the Key Bridge, stating that emergency personnel are on site and efforts are underway. The Baltimore Fire Department is set to assess the condition of the bridge before its collapse. Further updates on the situation are awaited.

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