Hope Fades for Baltimore Bridge Crash Survivors

AI generated image of the Francis Scott Key bridge after its collapse
Updated Published

The US Coast Guard has announced the cessation of rescue efforts after nightfall yesterday for the victims of the Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge collapse, extinguishing any remaining hopes of finding survivors.

During maintenance work on the bridge, involving the repair of potholes, a collision occurred with the Maersk-operated vessel, Dali, carrying 10,000 TEU, leading to the immediate collapse of the structure. Out of the eight maintenance workers present, two were rescued—one severely injured and the other unharmed—while six are still missing. The presence of vehicles on the bridge at the time of the incident remains uncertain, which could potentially escalate the number of casualties.

“We do not believe that we're going to find any of these individuals [the six maintenance staff] alive,” Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath stated during a briefing.

US authorities, including those from Maryland State Police and the US Coast Guard, highlighted the challenging conditions for search efforts, including poor visibility and dangerous currents in the vicinity of the debris, which halted the operation overnight.

Colonel Roland Butler of the state police shared with the media late Tuesday that the operation to locate the bodies of the six missing workers would recommence at 6 am on Wednesday, stating, “We're hoping to put divers in the water and begin a more detailed search to do our very best to recover those six missing people.”

The response from the crew of the Dali, who immediately alerted authorities, potentially minimized further casualties by facilitating the evacuation of as many vehicles as possible from the bridge prior to the collapse. This action was commended by US officials for likely saving additional lives.

All 22 members of the Dali's crew were reported safe, with no pollution from the ship, which is covered by the UK-based Britannia P&I club, being reported.