In a devastating incident early Tuesday morning, a container ship collided with a major bridge in Baltimore, causing significant damage and resulting in a tragic bridge collapse. The impact caused the bridge to snap in several places, leading to multiple vehicles plunging into the river below. Rescue efforts were swiftly initiated as authorities scrambled to locate and aid those affected by the catastrophe.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace reported that two individuals were rescued from the chilly waters under the Francis Scott Key Bridge, with one person in serious condition. Initial reports indicated that at least seven people were unaccounted for, prompting a comprehensive search and rescue operation.

Video footage posted on social media revealed the chaotic aftermath of the collision, showing the cargo ship ablaze and emitting thick plumes of black smoke. The vessel appears to have collided with one of the bridge’s supports during the night, causing extensive structural damage and igniting a fire onboard.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott described the scene as akin to “something out of an action movie,” labeling it an “unthinkable tragedy” for the city.

Authorities deployed sonar technology to assist in locating vehicles submerged in the river, where temperatures hovered around 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) during the early hours of Tuesday. The situation was further complicated by the presence of dangling cargo from the damaged bridge.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore swiftly declared a state of emergency and mobilized federal resources to aid in the response efforts. The FBI also joined the scene to assist in the investigation.

Synergy Marine Group, the owner and manager of the cargo ship involved in the collision, confirmed that the vessel named the “Dali” struck a bridge pillar around 1:30 a.m. local time. All crew members, including the two pilots on board, were reportedly safe and uninjured.

The Key Bridge, a vital transportation artery spanning the Patapsco River, serves as a crucial link to the Port of Baltimore, a significant shipping hub on the East Coast. The incident has sparked concerns about the impact on regional commerce and transportation infrastructure.