Rescue crews reportedly searching for 7 people after Baltimore bridge collapse

March 26 (CNN/GNA) – Rescue crews are searching for at least seven people in the Patapsco River after multiple vehicles fell into the water when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed overnight, a Baltimore City Fire Department spokesperson told the Associated Press.

Local agencies received 911 calls at around 1:30 a.m. ET reporting that a ship, traveling outbound from Baltimore, had struck a column on the bridge, Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department told AP. 

The vessel that hit Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was a container ship, the DALI, according to public affairs officer Kimberly Reaves of the US Coast Guard’s 5th District.

“The 948-foot container ship Dali, hit the Francis Scott Key bridge” at 1:27 a.m. ET “and it subsequently collapsed,” Reaves said in a statement.

Maritime tracking website MarineTraffic showed that the Singapore-flagged ship stopped in Baltimore, where it was departing with a destination of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The website showed the ship stopped around 1:30 a.m. ET and was surrounded by first response boats.

At about 1:30 a.m., local agencies reported receiving 911 calls that a large ship traveling outbound from Baltimore had struck a column on the bridge, Kevin Cartwright, spokesperson for the Baltimore Fire Department told AP. 

Freezing conditions and limited visibility at the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore could “pose a concern” as rescue crews search for at least 20 people believed to have fallen into the water.

Kevin Cartwright, director of communications of the Baltimore City Fire Department, told CNN they “are working with the US Coast Guard and a team of divers are in the river for search and rescue operations”, with temperatures around the port at around 30 °F (-1°C).

The 1.6-mile, four-lane bridge extends over the Patapsco River and serves as the outermost crossing of the Baltimore harbor and an essential link of Interstate-695, or the Baltimore Beltway.

GNA/Credit: CNN