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Shipping Nightmare: Baltimore Bridge Collapse Halts Major East Coast Traffic

by theparliamentnews.com
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Baltimore, USA: A major commuter bridge in Baltimore collapsed early Tuesday after being struck by a container ship, plunging vehicles into the water and prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency. The disaster at the Francis Scott Key Bridge has resulted in chaos at one of the busiest ports on the US East Coast and disrupted crucial transportation routes.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace confirmed that two individuals have been rescued from the water, with one sustaining serious injuries. However, up to seven people are still unaccounted for, adding urgency to the ongoing rescue efforts.

The vessel responsible for the collision, identified as the Dali sailing under the flag of Singapore, is operated by Synergy Marine and is on charter to A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S. The 32,000-ton ship, laden with approximately 4,900 containers, collided with the bridge, severing a vital link on the major highway encircling Baltimore.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore swiftly declared a state of emergency in response to the incident, while the White House has assured monitoring, indicating no signs of deliberate intent. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has extended support for the ongoing rescue operations.

The bridge’s collapse poses significant challenges for travelers, especially ahead of the Easter holiday weekend, disrupting traffic flow between New York and Washington, DC. Additionally, the closure affects the vital shipping operations at the Port of Baltimore, known for handling large volumes of cargo, including automobiles, light trucks, and various commodities.

At least 21 vessels, including bulk carriers and tankers, are stranded in the vicinity of the collapsed bridge, raising concerns about navigation and congestion in the waterway. The impact of the shutdown extends beyond transportation, affecting prominent companies with distribution facilities in the area, such as Amazon, FedEx, and Under Armour.

The Dali, which had arrived from China, was en route to Asia after making deliveries along the US East Coast. The incident underscores the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and the ripple effects of disruptions in transportation networks.

The aftermath of the bridge collapse is expected to cause prolonged congestion and logistical challenges for both commuters and businesses, highlighting the need for swift and coordinated efforts to mitigate the impact of the disaster.

As rescue operations continue and investigations into the cause of the collision unfold, authorities are grappling with the immense task of restoring normalcy to the affected region while ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.

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