6 People Presumed Dead After The Baltimore Bridge Collapse

NBC News

Early Tuesday morning (March 26), in Baltimore, a cargo ship experienced power loss and collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in the rapid and terrifying collapse of the structure.

The incident, which occurred within seconds, caused the bridge to plunge into the river below, potentially disrupting a crucial shipping port for months to come.

After the bridge collapsed, Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Maryland Mayor Brandon Scott declared a state of emergency, stating the incident was an accident and reassuring the public that there was no credible evidence of a terrorist attack.

RELATED: Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapses After Cargo Ship Hits Support Pillar

Six individuals are currently missing and presumed deceased.

The U.S. Coast Guard has ceased search-and-rescue efforts for the six individuals, and Maryland State Police have transitioned the operation to a recovery mission.

“Based on the length of time that we’ve gone into search the extensive search efforts that we put in it, the water temperature, at this point we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said.

Moments before the collision that brought down the Key Bridge, the ship’s crew issued a mayday call, allowing authorities to swiftly limit traffic on the span, according to Maryland’s governor.

The following dispatch audio captures the moments right after the Key Bridge collapse.

The impact of the ship hitting one of the bridge’s supports caused the entire structure to crumble. A segment of the bridge came to rest on the ship’s bow, igniting a fire onboard.

Despite the ship’s rapid approach towards the bridge, authorities managed to halt vehicle traffic just in time, as described by Maryland Governor Wes Moore.

“These people are heroes,” Moore said. “They saved lives last night.”

Rescuers successfully retrieved two individuals from the water. One of them received medical treatment at a hospital and was discharged several hours later.

Additionally, several vehicles plunged into the river, but authorities expressed belief that no individuals were inside them.

Paul Wiedefeld, the state’s transportation secretary, revealed that the six individuals still missing were members of a construction crew tasked with repairing potholes on the bridge.

Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders, disclosed that the crew was operating in the center of the bridge when it collapsed. He stated that the workers were presumed deceased due to the depth of the water and the duration since the accident occurred.

As of now, no bodies have been recovered.

“This was so completely unforeseen,” Pritzker said. “We don’t know what else to say. We take such great pride in safety, and we have cones and signs and lights and barriers and flaggers.”

A man who works with the six construction workers has come forward to share his thoughts.

In an interview with PEOPLE conducted in Spanish, Jesus Campos revealed that he is acquainted with the missing workers.

Campos became aware of the bridge’s collapse around 5:40 a.m. local time, approximately four hours after the incident. He mentioned not having received any recent updates regarding the rescued coworkers.

“They are good people,” Campos said.

Campos shared that he has been with their company for only about eight months, while his missing coworkers have been employed there for “a long time.”

He also mentioned that he used to cross the bridge daily for work. In fact, just a month ago, he was working directly on the bridge. However, he was recently assigned to the day shift.

Initially, Campos said that he returned home and watched news coverage of the tragedy. After, he traveled to a location near the incident, where he was approached and questioned about his connections to the victims.

“I was going to go home, but then I thought, perhaps people don’t even know their names or what kind of people they were that fell into the water,” he explains.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy.

Watch the terrifying moment captured by onlookers below.

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