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Suspension of Search and Rescue Efforts Following Key Bridge Collapse in Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland – Tragedy struck on Tuesday as the US Coast Guard announced the suspension of its search and rescue mission for the six individuals still missing after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath addressed reporters during a somber Tuesday evening news conference, indicating the grim reality of the situation.

“At this point, we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” stated Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath, citing the extensive search efforts, the water temperature, and the passage of time as contributing factors to this decision.

Photo credit: CNBC

The collapse of the bridge occurred after a colossal container ship lost power in the early hours of Tuesday, colliding with the structure and causing chaos. The impact sent people and vehicles plunging into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River below.

The missing individuals are believed to have been part of a construction crew tasked with repairing potholes on the bridge, according to Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld.

“While we are suspending the active search and rescue efforts, the Coast Guard and our partners will continue to be involved in the ongoing operations,” assured Rear Adm. Gilreath. The transition to a different phase of operations reflects a concerted effort to provide closure to the families affected by this tragedy.

Earlier in the day, two individuals were rescued from the Patapsco River by the Baltimore City Fire Department. One individual escaped unscathed, while the other was rushed to a local trauma center in critical condition. Despite initial reports of a body being recovered from the river, Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., secretary of Maryland State Police, clarified during the news conference that no bodies had been found.

Photo credit: CNN

Efforts will now shift towards locating the missing individuals, a task that Baltimore City Council Member Phylicia Porter emphasized as crucial for providing closure to their families.

Governor Wes Moore commended the swift response of officials following the mayday call from the ship, noting that their actions likely prevented further casualties. “We’re thankful for the heroism displayed by these officials,” Governor Moore expressed, acknowledging their pivotal role in mitigating the disaster’s impact.

As investigations into the cause of the bridge collapse continue, the city of Baltimore mourns the lives lost and braces for the challenging road ahead in rebuilding both infrastructure and communities.

Watch the video from The Guardian below:

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Written by Yanji

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