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Archbishop calls for ‘urgent’ prayers after Baltimore Key Bridge collapse

by Heather Preston

The Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland has called for urgent prayers after a major bridge collapsed in the US city, leaving at least six people presumed missing.

Archbishop William E. Lori has called on Christians to pray after a cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday, causing it to plunge into the Patapsco River.

The governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency, while rescue divers search for at least six missing people in the water.

“Pray with me for all involved, especially the victims traveling over the span at the time of impact, the construction crews on site and all of the first responders acting with urgency to rescue survivors,” the archbishop said in a statement.

The container ship lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s supports at around 01:30 ET (05:30 GMT), causing the structure to snap.

At the time of writing, two people have been rescued from the water, and officials say a further six people are still unaccounted for. All of them are believed to be part of a construction crew working on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

Rev. Ryan Sirmons, a United Reformed Church minister in Newcastle, served as part of the Navy in Maryland for ten years.

He tells Premier Christian News there will be many people grieving in the local community: “This is a major bridge, I've crossed it dozens of times. It is one of the busiest ports in the United States.

“The question here is how are we going to be there for one another, support one another in loss and grief?”

Brandon Scott, mayor of Baltimore likened the disaster to “something out of an action movie," calling it "an unthinkable tragedy".

Sirmons has encouraged believers to pray for the families of people who are still missing, the vessels crew and their families, as well as first responders, those whose jobs are impacted by the disaster and for those “that have to pick up the pieces from this.”

The Singapore-flagged ship Dali was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka when the incident occurred, according to data from Marine Traffic. It issued a distress call moments before the crash.

Danish shipping giant Maersk said it had chartered the vessel, which was carrying its customers' cargo, though no Maersk crew and personnel were on board.


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