March 26, 2024 – Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse Following Ship Collision

DALI said everyone on board was safe:

A crew member on the DALI cargo ship sent a message following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (Baltimore’s Key Bridge) on Tuesday, reassuring everyone’s safety. This information was shared by Andy Middleton, who directs the Apostleship of the Sea.

Middleton, having met with the DALI’s captain the day before, reached out to a crew member upon hearing about the bridge incident on Tuesday morning. He confirmed that there were 22 individuals from India on board, who had departed earlier that morning, en route to Sri Lanka.

“I got in touch with a crew member very early this morning, around 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. ET, to check if they were okay,” Middleton stated. “They replied within minutes, confirming that all crew members were safe.”

The ship’s captain had informed Middleton the day before that they planned to take a longer route to avoid risks along the Yemen coast.

“Yesterday, during our conversation, the captain mentioned they intended to sail around the tip of South Africa to avoid incidents off the Yemen coast. It was a safer option,” Middleton explained.

The Apostleship of the Sea provides support to seafarers, with members offering assistance both in port and on vessels. They aim to offer a welcoming presence for seafarers visiting the Port of Baltimore, ensuring their needs are met and reminding them of their inherent dignity.

An emotionally devastating outcome:

Early Tuesday morning, Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed following a collision with a 984-foot cargo ship, leading to the presumed death of six individuals believed to be part of a road construction crew.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore expressed deep sadness, calling it a “heartbreaking conclusion to a challenging day.”

Later on, it was revealed that two of the missing construction workers were from Guatemala, as confirmed by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Here’s a summary of key points:

  • Victims: Eight people were on the bridge during the collapse. Two were rescued, with one hospitalized and later discharged.
  • Incident: Video footage captures the bridge structure collapsing as the ship strikes one of its pillars. The ship veered off course before the collision, with its crew issuing a distress call, allowing authorities to halt traffic.
  • Response efforts: Dive teams from various agencies were involved in search and rescue operations. The Coast Guard later suspended active search efforts.
  • Investigation: Authorities are determining the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the bridge’s construction and structure.
  • Rebuilding: Reconstructing the bridge will be lengthy and costly. President Joe Biden aims for federal funding to cover the expenses, possibly through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with additional support from Congress.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that two of the construction workers who went missing in the bridge collapse were from Guatemala.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala announced on Tuesday night that two of the construction workers who went missing in the Baltimore bridge collapse were from Guatemala.

Among those unaccounted for was a 26-year-old originally from San Luis, Petén, and another individual, aged 35, from Camotán, Chiquimula, as stated in the announcement.

Both individuals were reportedly part of a team conducting repairs on the bridge’s asphalt at the time of the accident.

Although the statement did not specify the identities of the missing workers, it mentioned that the Guatemalan Consul General in Maryland had visited the area where the affected families were situated, with hopes of meeting with the siblings of the missing individuals.

Additionally, the consulate released a statement confirming that two of the missing persons were of Guatemalan origin. It also stated that their Consul General in Maryland remains in contact with local authorities.

Following the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge early on Tuesday morning, which occurred when a cargo ship collided with one of the bridge’s pillars, six individuals believed to be part of a road construction crew are presumed dead. However, state and federal officials have yet to release information regarding the identities of these missing workers.

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