Indian crew of ship that caused US bridge collapse safe

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Indian crew of ship that caused US bridge collapse safe  
Washington: All the 22 Indian crew members of a container ship that caused the collapse of a bridge in Baltimore, a port city in the state of Maryland on the east coast of the US, in the early hours of Tuesday are safe, according to a spokesperson for the company.

The spokesperson was not sure if they were all still on board.

Two of eight members of a road construction crew working on the bridge were rescued from the river, one of them in a serious condition, but six were missing till hours later.

Andrew Middleton, director, The Apostleship of the Sea in Baltimore, a Catholic ministry that provides services for seafarers when they arrive at the ministry, told the Washington Post that he had texted the crew after he heard of the mishap.

“Is everyone on board safe?” he had asked.

“Yes,” he heard back five minutes later.

“By God’s grace.”

Dali, as the Singapore flagged ship is called, was bound for Colombo in Sri Lanka.

It was sailing at eight knots, which is said to be relatively, when it went out of control because of a power outage, according to Wes Moore, Maryland governor.

It hit a pillar of the Francis Scott Bridge over the Patapsco River, bringing down a portion of it. The Washington Post reported that the Francis Scott Bridge had the third-longest main span among all continuous truss bridges in the world.

It was over 1,200 feet between adjacent towers and supporting pillars.

The 1.6-mile bridge was used by over 35,000 commuters daily, authorities have said.

US President Joe biden has said the federal government will pay for reconstructing the bridge.

Officials have said they were focused now on finding those missing.

The cause of the bridge collapse will be investigated although it was in sound condition at the time. Alternative travel routes were being planned for users of the bridge.

“The words that the Key bridge is gone – it still shakes us,” Governor Moore said at a news conference he addressed along with other state and federal officials.

He could not give a timeline on when shipping would remain normal in these waters, reiterating rescue and recovery remained the focus for now.

Officials said an early May Day call from the ship saved more lives as it allowed for traffic headed for the bridge to be stopped and diverted.

Congresswoman Kweisi, whose district includes the bridge, said in a statement: “The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is an unthinkable horror. Our prayers right now are for the missing individuals and victims of this tragedy. We thank God for the effective service of our first responders.”


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