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Spectacular collapse of a bridge in Baltimore

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The boat loaded with containers hit the structure head-on, causing the bridge to completely collapse within seconds .

Radio-Canada

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The Francis Scott Key highway bridge , in Baltimore, Maryland, was destroyed Monday night following a collision with a container ship, carrying with it an unknown number of workers and motorists into the waves of the Patapsco River.

Check out our live coverage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore.

Rewatch the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on video.

The The 2.6 kilometer long structure, which carried four lanes of traffic, collapsed in just seconds following the impact at around 1:30 a.m. People on the bridge had no chance of escaping the disaster.

Only two people have been rescued so far, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said. Our sonar detected the presence of several vehicles submerged in the water, the officer added. One of the rescued people was taken to hospital in serious condition while a second emerged miraculously unscathed from the collapse of the structure.

U.S. Coast Guard boats, drones, helicopters and divers are searching for at least seven people. Other preliminary information indicates around twenty people are missing.

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The cargo ship Dali, which caused the collapse, is a container ship flying the flag of Singapore. Built on Hyundai's Korean shipyard in 2015, it is 300 meters long and 48 meters wide. Considered a medium-sized ship with a carrying capacity of more than 116,000 tonnes, the vessel was heading to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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In addition to motorists, teams of road workers were on the bridge at the time of the collision.

The conditions are difficult. […] There are 40 or 50 feet of water, the currents are strong. The weather is windy, the water is cold. So we are worried about those who are in the water, not to mention the fall from the bridge, Johnny Olszewski, chief executive of Baltimore County, explained on CNN.

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A view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore following its collapse.

According to images captured by surveillance cameras, the boat filled of containers hit one of the central pillars of the structure which spans the Patapsco River estuary. The section of the bridge struck immediately collapsed, followed by the other sections one after the other, like a house of cards.

The reason for this collision is currently unknown. A loss of control, a mechanical problem, a breakdown, a voluntary act? The numerous investigations which will follow will tell us more. Nothing, however, leads the authorities to believe at the moment that this could be a deliberate act.

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The container ship “Dali” also suffered heavy damage during the collision.

There is absolutely no indication that this is ;a terrorist act, whether it is a deliberate act.

A quote from Baltimore Police Chief Richard Worley.

Maritime transportation has been suspended until further notice at the Port of Baltimore.< /p>

Maryland Governor Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency, providing access to all federal resources needed to intervene and investigate this collision which simultaneously deprives the entire region of an important road link.

Completed in 1977, the Francis Scott Key Bridge is a vital artery that, along with the Port of Baltimore, serves as a maritime transportation hub on the coast is from the United States. It is named after the author of The Star-Spangled Banner, the American national anthem.

With information from Associated Press and Agence France-Presse

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