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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Baltimore Bridge Collapses

A major bridge spanning Baltimore's harbor collapsed early Tuesday after a large shipping container lost power and struck one of its support pillars. Two people were rescued from the water, while six are presumed dead. All eight people were part of a construction crew working on the bridge at the time of the incident.

Built in 1977, Interstate 695's nearly 2-mile-long steel Francis Scott Key Bridge was used by 35,000 drivers daily and was the only bridge to cross the harbor (see history). The Port of Baltimore—which was closed indefinitely yesterday—is the country's 14th-largest, specializing in roll-on vehicle shipments. Baltimore-bound cargo will be diverted to ports in Virginia and New York while bridge debris is dredged from the shipping channel, a months-long process. Bridge replacement would take years. 

The Sri Lanka-bound container ship Dali was chartered by Maersk and operated by a Singapore-based group. Authorities were reportedly able to reduce bridge traffic after the ship issued a mayday alert. See video of the collapse here.

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