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Bridge collapse in Baltimore: The sound of the first responder call sounds – “the whole bridge has just collapsed”

There is audio recordings of a first responder call as officers stopped traffic on both sides of the Francis Scott Key Bridge shortly before the collapse.

The cargo ship had made a distress call to alert authorities that there had been a power outage before colliding with the Baltimore Bridge on Tuesday morning.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police Dispatch and Response officers quickly responded to the call and closed the north and south sides of the bridge.

Read more:
Everything we know about the disaster
First missing worker named – rescue mission turns into recovery operation

An official orders: “Stop all traffic on the Key Bridge… A ship is approaching and has just lost control. Until we get this under control, we have to stop all traffic.”

“Make sure no one is on the bridge right now. There’s a crew up there… You might want to notify the foreman to see if we can get them off the bridge temporarily.”

Another replied that he would “grab the workers” but it was too late.

More on the Baltimore Bridge collapse

A second later, a voice can be heard saying: “The whole bridge just collapsed. Starts, starts, whoever… everyone. The whole bridge just collapsed.”

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The new angle shows the moment the bridge is hit

The Dali ship struck one of the bridge’s supporting pillars and instantly the 1.6-mile-long structure, along with the vehicles and workers that were on it at the time, collapsed into the Patapsco River.

Six workers missing after the collapse are presumed dead, the vice president of Brawner Builders confirmed.

Officials say the rescue mission for the group has now become a recovery operation.

It comes as Miguel Luna from El Salvador was named as one of the six people on the Francis Scott Key Bridge when it collapsed.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge as a container ship rammed its span to plunge into the river below on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Maxaar Technologies via AP)
Picture:
A satellite image of the incident. Image: AP

Now US President Joe Biden has promised he will visit Baltimore “as soon as possible,” adding that the federal government will cover the “full cost” of rebuilding the bridge – experts say it will cost over $600 million (US$474). million pounds).

He told reporters: “Everything so far suggests this was a terrible accident. At this point in time we have no further evidence and no other reason to believe that this was an intentional act.”

“Personnel aboard the vessel were able to notify the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel.”

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Timeline of the Baltimore Bridge collapse

Mr Biden added that this meant local authorities were able to close the bridge before it was hit, which “undoubtedly saved lives”.

He continued: “Our prayers go out to everyone involved in this terrible accident and to all the families.” [affected], especially those who are currently waiting for news from their loved one. I know that every minute feels like a lifetime under these circumstances.

The Key Bridge carries Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River southeast of the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Its main section spans 1,200 feet and, when completed, was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance.

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