Search resumes for 6 missing workers after US bridge collapse

<p>An aerial view of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after a collision with a cargo ship in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on March 26, 2024.</p>

An aerial view of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after a collision with a cargo ship in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on March 26, 2024.

WASHINGTON – Authorities resumed a search Wednesday for six missing construction workers presumed dead after a massive cargo ship struck a vital bridge in the US city of Baltimore, causing it to collapse.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said dive teams spent hours in the frigid waters of the Patapsco River early Wednesday, sifting through the debris where the Francis Scott Key Bridge once stood.

"I can't stress enough the heroism of these folks. They are in frigid conditions. They are down there in darkness where they can literally see about a foot in front of them. They are trying to navigate mangled metal, and they are also in a place that, it is now presumed, that people lost their lives," Moore told reporters.

"I cannot stress enough how remarkable these individuals are," he added.

The river is currently hovering around 48 degrees Fahrenheit (8.8 Celsius), according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Among the missing are individuals from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, according to multiple reports.

Investigators, meanwhile, are attempting to determine what caused the Dali container ship to lose power before the accident early Tuesday.

Video of the crash on social media appears to show the ship partially losing power at least twice as a plume of thick black smoke poured out of the container vessel. The ship then rammed into one of the bridge's support pillars, causing it to collapse about a second later.

Authorities have said the ship was able to send out a mayday call, allowing law enforcement to halt traffic on the bridge and likely save the lives of those who would have otherwise been transiting across it.

The key bridge was one of three main arteries used to transit the Baltimore Harbor, with roughly 35,000 people using it daily for commutes, spanning the entryway to the harbor where the vital Port of Baltimore is located. All commercial ship traffic has been halted to allow for search and rescue efforts to continue.

The port remains at a standstill with major economic consequences.

Moore said the accident's economic effect on the country will be "huge" with 51 million tons of foreign cargo transiting through the Port of Baltimore. The bridge's collapse is likely to be acutely felt across automobile and farm equipment supply chains.

"For everybody who is buying cars. For everybody who is buying farm equipment, we're the largest port in the country that does that. So, this is not just impacting Maryland. This is impact that farm in Kentucky. It's impact (sic) that auto dealer in Michigan, and so it is imperative that we get this bridge rebuilt. It's imperative that we get the Port of Baltimore back up and going," said Moore. (Anadolu)