State Roundup: Cargo ship’s mayday call likely saved many lives; six missing road workers presumed dead; port’s partial shutdown expected to be costly

State Roundup: Cargo ship’s mayday call likely saved many lives; six missing road workers presumed dead; port’s partial shutdown expected to be costly

The Francis Scott Key Bridge sits in water. Six construction workers remain missing. Photo from the Baltimore City Fire Department Rescue Team 1.

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DALI SOUNDED MAYDAY CALL, SAVING LIVINGS ON KEY BRIDGE: The container ship Dali sounded a mayday call when its power shut down just before plowing into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early morning hours Tuesday, This last-minute warning likely saved countless lives by alerting officials to stop traffic from going onto the bridge. However, the bridge collapsed, prompting a rescue mission for an overnight road crew at work repairing the road bed of the bridge. Angelique Gingras, Steph Quinn, Sapna Bansil, Lydia Hurley, Tyrah Burris, Kiersten Hacker and Emma Tufo of Capital News Service/

  • The ship’s pilot ordered its rudder turned hard to the left and its left anchor dropped in an effort to slow the vessel and stop it swinging to the right, according to the head of a national association for ship pilots. Ian Duncan/The Washington Post.

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR SIX MISSING ROAD WORKERS: Gov. Wes Moore and representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland State Police said Tuesday evening that they would transition to a recovery operation to find the six men, who have not been officially identified, and are presumed to be dead after they fell into the river Tuesday. Two others were rescued early Tuesday from the water, one of whom was treated and released from the hospital, according to officials. Lia Russell and Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Among those presumed deceased are Miguel Luna, who has worked for the construction company Brawner Builders for about 15 years, his family said; and a 26-year-old and a 35-year-old from Guatemala, the country’s Foreign Ministry said. Jasmine Hilton, Teo Armus, Tim Craig and Emily Davies/The Washington Post.
  • Jesus Campos, a Brawner Builders construction worker, said during the day Tuesday that his missing co-workers were all Hispanic men, responsible for replacing concrete on the bridge. Father Ako Walker, a priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Highlandtown, said he spent the day accompanying the families of the missing workers as they waited for news. Cassidy Jensen, Angela Roberts, Emily Opilo and Jean Marbella/The Baltimore Sun.
  • Divers were to be sent out at 6 a.m. today to help find the workers’ bodies, said Roland Butler Jr., the Maryland State Police superintendent. The divers will work with a structural engineer to navigate around the debris in the water because there could be sharp edges from the bridge that could puncture a suit or an airline. Justin Fenton, Giacomo Bologna, Alissa Zhu, Cody Boteler, Pamela Wood and Abby Zimmardi/The Baltimore Banner.

VESSEL TRAFFIC AT PORT SUSPENDED; PARTIAL PORT SHUTDOWN COSTLY: Vessel traffic through the Port of Baltimore has been suspended indefinitely after the collapse of Baltimore’s Key Bridge into the Patapsco River early Tuesday morning, per a statement from the Maryland Port Authority. The port is not closed and trucks are still being processed at the marine terminals, the MPA noted in its statement. Varun Shankar of Capital News Service/

  • In a major blow to commerce in the region, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore is partially shut down after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed. Shipping traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice, according to a statement from the Maryland Port Administration, which oversees the Port of Baltimore. Trucks are still being processed inside the terminals, the statement said, but it’s unclear when the port will fully reopen. Pamela Wood, Giacomo Bologna and John-John Williams IV/The Baltimore Banner.

WOULD TUGBOATS HAVE PREVENTED ACCIDENT? As the Dali shoved off from the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal, two tugboats helped maneuver it away, then peeled off 20 minutes before the ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Several pilots and tugboat captains wondered, would two powerful tugboats have been able to push the ship toward the channel and avoid a collision with the bridge in the crucial minutes during which the Dali lost power and black smoke began billowing from the stern. Greg Morton, Ramsey Archibald, Emily Sullivan and Matti Gellman/The Baltimore Banner.

EXPERTS QUESTION DESIGN STABILITY OF KEY BRIDGE: Given that the four-lane Key bridge was constructed half a century ago, Abi Aghayere, a professor of structural engineering at Drexel University, questioned whether the original design took into account that the ships, which have grown considerably in size since then, would be maneuvering so close to the piers. Ben Conarck, Daniel Zawodny and Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Banner.

A HISTORY OF THE KEY BRIDGE: Construction for the 1.6-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge started in 1972 and it opened to traffic on March 23, 1977. The New York Times reported that the bridge cost $141 million to build, which is roughly $743 million in today’s dollars. Cassie Peo of Capital News Servicce/

MARYLAND BRIDGE DISASTERS THROUGH THE YEARS: Maryland is no stranger to bridge disasters. But they don’t happen frequently. The first recorded one was in 1896 and the bridge was wooden. One person was killed. You can find the list here. Mike Klingaman/The Baltimore Sun.

MEDICAID ‘UNWINDING’ WINDING DOWN: The Maryland Department of Health is about to enter its last month of Medicaid redeterminations, a 12-month process that has resulted in thousands of Marylanders losing health care coverage — while many others retained coverage in a process – called “unwinding.” Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

RUSHERN BAKER BACKS ALSOBROOKS FOR SENATE: Former Prince George’s County executive Rushern L. Baker III said he is endorsing Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) in her U.S. Senate bid, the second high-profile endorsement Alsobrooks has received this week. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

EXPERTS SAY PRINCIPAL’s RACIST COMMENTS WERE AI-GENERATED: Experts in detecting audio and video fakes say there is overwhelming evidence that the recording of a Baltimore County principal making racist and antisemitic comments is AI-generated. Liz Bowie and Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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