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Tragedy Strikes Baltimore: Search Halted for Missing After Bridge Collapse

Tragedy Strikes Baltimore: Search Halted for Missing After Bridge Collapse

Tragedy Strikes Baltimore: Search Halted for Missing After Bridge Collapse

The Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend its search for survivors following the devastating collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. The bridge crumbled after a large cargo ship lost power and slammed into it early Tuesday morning, sending vehicles and construction workers plunging into the icy Patapsco River.

“With a heavy heart, we must announce the suspension of search and rescue efforts,” declared Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath at a press conference on Tuesday evening. “The extended search duration, the vast area covered, and the dangerously cold water temperatures lead us to believe finding survivors is no longer likely.”

Six individuals remain unaccounted for, presumed to be part of a crew repairing the bridge when the disaster struck, according to Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld.

While the search for living victims has ended, recovery efforts will continue. “This isn’t the end,” stressed Rear Admiral Gilreath. “The Coast Guard and our partners remain committed to assisting in the next phase, which prioritizes locating the missing to bring closure to their families.”

Earlier on Tuesday, a glimmer of hope emerged when two individuals were pulled from the river. Thankfully, one escaped unharmed, while the other was rushed to a trauma center in critical condition. A third person initially reported injured was later discharged from the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Baltimore City Council Member Phylicia Porter’s initial report of a recovered body turned out to be a misunderstanding. Maryland State Police Secretary Colonel Roland L. Butler Jr. confirmed during the evening conference that no bodies had yet been recovered.

Governor Wes Moore expressed his deepest condolences to the families impacted by this tragedy. “Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller and I have spent significant time with the families of the missing,” he shared on CNN Tuesday night. “We offered prayers and support during this incredibly difficult time.”

The focus has shifted from rescue to recovery, with the aim of providing some solace to the grieving families. The search continues, not for survivors, but to bring those lost back home.

The bridge collapsed after a large container ship lost power early Tuesday, colliding with the structure and causing people and vehicles to fall into the icy Patapsco River. The missing individuals are believed to have been part of a construction crew working on the bridge, as per Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld.

Gilreath announced the suspension of active search and rescue operations while emphasizing that the Coast Guard and other partners will remain involved but transition to a different phase of response. Earlier on Tuesday, two individuals were rescued from the river, with one uninjured and the other in critical condition, according to Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace. A patient initially treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center was later discharged.

Contradictory reports emerged regarding the recovery of a body from the river, initially mentioned by Baltimore City Council Member Phylicia Porter but later retracted. Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., secretary of Maryland State Police, confirmed during the evening news conference that no bodies had been recovered.

The focus will now shift towards locating the missing individuals to provide closure to their families, stated Col. Butler. Governor Wes Moore shared that he and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller spent time with the families of the presumed deceased, offering support and prayers.

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