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What We Know About the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse in Baltimore

A giant container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Most of the bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River.

Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland declared a state of emergency shortly after theship hit the bridge, a part of Interstate 695 and a critical transportation link on the Eastern Seaboard to one of the largest ports in the country. Vessel traffic has since been stopped.

Governor Moore said that there was no credible evidence of a terrorist attack. The priority, he said, was a search operation, led by the Coast Guard, to try to find people who may have been on the bridge.

Here’s what we know.

Why did the ship hit the bridge?

It is not known, and the National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating.

The 985-foot-long cargo vessel, called The Dali, was leaving the Port of Baltimore when it lost power and issued a mayday call just before hitting a pillar of the bridge. Radio traffic from emergency workers suggested that the crew was struggling to steer the ship, according to audio published by Broadcastify. Most of the lights of the ship went dark abruptly, just over two minutes before the ship hit the bridge.

Baltimore harbor pilots were directing the ship at the time of the crash, as is customary when vessels enter ports or canals, according to a joint statement from the ship’s owner and manager.

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