Baltimore bridge collapse: Search suspended as six missing presumed dead

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The search operation for six people who went missing after the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore fell down, has been suspended as they have been presumed dead  following 18 hours of search operation, CNN reported.

“I’d like to announce tonight that based on the length of time that we’ve gone in this search, the extensive search efforts we’ve put into it, the water temperature, that at this point we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath told reporters at a Tuesday evening news conference.

The Baltimore bridge collapsed after a huge container ship lost power and slammed into it early on Tuesday, causing people and vehicles on the bridge to fall into the cold Patapsco River.

Addressing a news conference earlier in the day, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld said that the six individuals who are currently missing are believed to have been members of a construction crew tasked with fixing potholes on the bridge.

The US Coast Guard do not believe they would be able to find them alive because they have been searching for them for a while. The water is cold, and they have looked a lot. The Baltimore bridge fell when a huge ship crashed into it early on Tuesday, pushing people and cars into the cold river.

“We are going to suspend the active search and rescue efforts. Coast Guard’s not going away, none of our partners are going away, but we’re just going to transition to a different phase,” Gilreath said.

Earlier on Tuesday, two people were rescued from the river, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace said. One was not hurt, but the other was really badly hurt and taken to the hospital. One person who was in the hospital got better and went home. 

There are eight dive teams made up of about 50 divers, working on the rescue effort, Wallace added.

Earlier, firefighters searched the water, using fancy equipment to find anything underwater. 

The ship that crashed into the bridge told people it had problems before it happened, which probably helped save lives, according to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore. The governor said that they don’t have much more information yet, but they’re still looking for six missing people.

“We’re thankful that between the mayday and the collapse, that we had officials who were able to begin to stop the flow of traffic so more cars were not on the bridge,” Moore said. 

Lots of cars, even a big truck, fell into the river when the bridge collapsed. Rescuers are using special tech to find them, and there are about 50 divers working to help. Thankfully, they haven’t found anyone still in the cars in the water.

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