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Maryland bridge collapses after ship collision; considered a mass casualty event

BALTIMORE, MD - A major bridge collapsed in Baltimore on Tuesday morning after it was hit by a container ship, sending several vehicles plunging into the water below.

An unknown number of workers were on the bridge at the time of the collision, and emergency responders said they were searching for at least seven people who were missing.

Two people were rescued from the water after the ship collided with a pillar supporting part of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which carries Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River southeast, of the Baltimore metropolitan area.

One person rescued from the water was in good condition and refused treatment, but the other was very seriously injured and was being treated in a local trauma center, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said in a news conference at the scene.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said he had declared a state of emergency following the bridge collapse and was working to deploy federal resources.

The incident was captured in dramatic video, which showed smoke billowing from the boat, as the bridge and the road it held tumbled into the river. A livestream showed cars and trucks on the bridge just before the collision. The boat did not sink and its lights remained on.

Wallace said that underwater drones, as well as sonar and infrared surveillance tools, had confirmed there were several cars in the river. He added that it was not known how many people may be missing nor how many vehicles were on the bridge. Helicopters will survey the scene from the air as the sun comes up, he said.


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