At least 6 people still unaccounted for after cargo ship crashes into Baltimore Bridge

The chartered Danish shipping company, Marshall Daly, said it had no choice but to divert its vessels to other nearby ports once the port of Baltimore closed.

Writer David Simon, a Baltimore champion whose TV crime drama “The Wire” once captured as a reporter on the city's streets, warned online that those whose livelihoods depended on the port would suffer the most.

“Think first of the people on the bridge” Posted by Simon X. “But the mind wanders to a port city. All the people who rely on ships in and out.”

Chronology of the accident

Dramatic video captured the moment Daly struck a support and plunged the bridge into the water at 1:28 a.m. Tuesday. A livestream showed cars and trucks on the bridge just before the collision. The ship did not sink, its lights were on.

Investigators, in a timeline, said the Daly's lights suddenly went out four minutes earlier and then black smoke began pouring from the ship's chimney around 1:25 p.m.

A minute later, at 1:26 a.m., the ship appeared to be turning. Moments after it hit the support, the lights went out and back on.

Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Whitefield said workers on the bridge were repairing concrete pipes when the ship struck the structure.

They are Brawner Builders Inc. Employed by the company. And at least seven workers were pouring concrete to repair potholes in the road on the bridge directly above where the ship struck, said foreman James Creutzfeldt.

Creutzfeldt, who did not work on the job, said one of the missing was another foreman, whom he considered his mentor and “working dad.”

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“I'm still in shock,” he said.

Earlier, the US Coast Guard said it had received a report of a “motor vessel struck on the bridge” and confirmed it was the Tali, a Singapore-flagged container ship.

Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning.Harford County Md Fire & EMS via Getty Images

Bobby Hines, who lives in Dundalk, Baltimore County, said he felt the impact of the bridge collapse from his home nearby.

“I woke up at 1:30 this morning and my house was shaking and I was freaking out,” she said. “I thought it was an earthquake and to find out it was a bridge was really scary.”

Families of bridge workers await updates

A group of relatives of Brawner construction workers gathered at the Royal Farms convenience store near the bridge entrance. Together, they waited for word from their missing loved ones.

Marian del Carmen Castellon told Telemundo that her 49-year-old husband, Miguel Luna, was among the missing.

“They only tell us that we have to wait and that they cannot give us information,” he said.

Asked how she was coping, Castellon said, “Devastated, devastated because our hearts are broken because we don't know how they were rescued. We are waiting for news.”

Jesús Campos, a colleague of Luna's, said he was also devastated.

“It hurts my heart to see what's happening. We're human, they're my people,” he said.

Campos said The Baltimore Banner The missing are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Earl Schneider, the company's structural foreman, said some of the undiscovered construction workers had babies recently.

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“I know everyone on that team personally,” Schneider told NBC News. “They're all great people. It's tough. It's been a tough morning.

Earlier, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott urged his constituents to pray for the missing workers — and first responders struggling to find them.

“It's an unimaginable tragedy,” Scott said.

'A Long Road Ahead of Us'

Built in 1977 and locally referred to as the Key Bridge, the structure was later named after the author of the US National Anthem.

The bridge is 8,500 feet long or 1.2 miles long. Its main section is 1,200 feet long and at its end is one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world. National Steel Bridge Alliance.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, about 31,000 vehicles use the bridge per day, which is 11.3 million vehicles per year.

Both the river and the Port of Baltimore are important to the shipping industry on the East Coast, generating more than $3.3 billion in annual revenue and directly employing more than 15,000 people.

Asked what Baltimoreans can expect moving forward, the state transportation secretary said it's too early to tell.

“Obviously we approached several engineering firms, so we have a long road ahead of us,” Wiedefeld said.

Julia Jester from Baltimore, Patrick Smith from London and Corky Siemasko from New York City reported.

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