Baltimore bridge collapse: Remains of two victims recovered

The bridge collapse has indefinitely halted flow of ships in & out of Baltimore port

baltimore_bridge A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) worker looks on at the cargo vessel Dali, which struck and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. March 27, 2024 | Reuters

Divers have recovered the bodies of two victims of the Baltimore bridge collapse incident. a key bridge harbouring America's largest vehicle handling port collapsed in Baltimore when a cargo ship crashed into it on Tuesday. Dali, an 84-foot cargo ship was bound for Sri Lanka.

The collapse of the bridge has indefinitely halted the flow of ships in and out of Baltimore Port, a PTI report reads.

“We are concerned about the local economic impact, with some 8,000 jobs directly associated with port activities," US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters in the White House on Wednesday. “ No matter how quickly the channels can be reopened, we know that it can't happen overnight. And so, we're going to have to manage the impacts in the meantime,” he added.

At least six people, who were part of a construction crew on the bridge, are presumed dead. Two others were rescued on Wednesday. On Wednesday a team of federal investigators began interviewing the ship’s 22 crew members, who remained aboard the vessel.

According to recordings from radio chatter, authorities were alerted that the cargo ship was drifting out of control toward Key Bridge-- post which, they tried to save lives, minutes before the bridge collapsed. National Transport Safety Board investigators are trying to recover the data recorder to get a clearer picture of the timeline of events.

President Joe Biden commended the 22-member crew, all of Indian nationality, who notified the Maryland Department of Transportation about their loss of control over the vessel, which led authorities to close the bridge and save several lives.  

“Shippers, including online retailers like Amazon, may temporarily shift to warehouses in different locations to avoid the congestion of central Baltimore,” Joseph Schofer, Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University told PTI.

Depending on the length of the blockage and the nature of the business interruption coverage for the Port of Baltimore, insured losses could total between $2 billion and $4 billion, Credit rating agency Morningstar DBRS noted.

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