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When the Unthinkable Happens: The 9-Mile-Hour Collision That Shook Baltimore

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It was a day like any other. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the city of Baltimore was bustling with life. But little did we know, a catastrophe was about to unfold that would leave us all in shock.

In the early hours of Tuesday, a container ship named Dali, measuring a staggering 984 feet, collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The impact was so severe that it caused a part of the bridge to collapse, sending several vehicles plunging into the dark water below. Can you imagine the horror of those on the bridge at that moment? It’s a chilling thought.

The governor of Maryland, Wes Moore, declared a state of emergency. He assured us that the calamity was likely the result of an accident and not an act of terrorism. “Our state is in shock,” he said. And indeed, we were. The sight of the collapsed bridge and the knowledge of what had transpired was enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine.

The Dali had notified authorities of a “power issue” and issued a mayday moments before the collision. It was traveling at a speed of eight knots, which is about nine miles per hour. It’s hard to believe that something moving at such a slow pace could cause such devastation. But it did.

Rescue crews detected at least five vehicles in the frigid 50-foot-deep water. Among them were three passenger cars, a cement truck, and another vehicle. An unknown number of workers were doing repairs on the bridge when the ship hit a support pillar. At least six people were still believed to be missing. “Our exclusive focus is on saving lives,” the governor said1.

Two people were rescued from the water. One was in good condition and refused treatment. The other was seriously injured and was being treated in a trauma center. “We are still very much in an active search-and-rescue posture at this point,” said Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace.

The bridge, which is about a mile-and-a-half long and carries Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, was “fully up to code,” according to Moore1. It’s a sobering reminder that even with all our precautions and safety measures, accidents can still happen.

President Joe Biden was expected to weigh-in on the ongoing situation. “Our hearts go out to the families of those who remain missing as a result of this horrific incident,” a senior White House official said.

As we grapple with the aftermath of this tragedy, let’s remember to keep those affected in our thoughts. Let’s also take this as a reminder to cherish every moment, for life can change in an instant. Stay safe, everyone. 👍🎉

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