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Terrifying moments before bridge collapse revealed, with lucky drivers seen making it across seconds before impact: Frantic pilot ordered boat to be turned in unsuccessful bid to avoid structure after making mayday call

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Footage shows multiple lucky drivers making their way across the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore just seconds before the structure collapsed. 

The lights from a construction site can be seen flickering on the 1.6 mile bridge in the moments before the horrific collision. 

Vehicles are also seen travelling across the span as the Dali inches ever closer to the crossing in the background. 

The 948ft vessel, a Singaporean-flagged container ship, had a ‘complete blackout’ according to one industry official. 

Clay Diamond, executive director of the American Pilots Association, told the New York Times that the cause of the failure was unclear, but backup generators had kicked in. 

Despite this, the propulsion system remained offline and the pilot in command ordered the ship be turned and for the port anchor to be dropped to slow the ship.

Diamond told the outlet: ‘As soon as he lost power, he realized what could happen. He immediately asked that the bridge be closed to traffic.’

The mangled wreckage of the bridge wrapped around the front of the shipping container Dali

The mangled wreckage of the bridge wrapped around the front of the shipping container Dali

The 948ft Dali, a Singaporean-flagged container ship, had a 'complete blackout' according to one industry official

The 948ft Dali, a Singaporean-flagged container ship, had a ‘complete blackout’ according to one industry official

Diamond added that the pilot in charge had been on the job for over a decade and had an apprentice in training on board with him. 

An hour before the collision with the bridge, vessel-tracking data indicate the Dali was guided from its berth by tugboats and then helped towards the bridge.

Eight construction workers that had been working on the bridge at the time fixing potholes were thrown into the river when it collapsed. 

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse timeline 

1:24 am – Ship lights flicker for the first time as the vessel loses power

1:25 am – The ship regains power as smoke begins to emerge from it

1:26 am – The vessel again loses power

1:27 am – First call is made to the Coast Guard for assistance, multiple units respond

1:27 am – Vehicles are seen continuing to cross the bridge as well as the construction crew 

1:28am – Dali strikes a support pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing a total collapse

The Coast Guard announced on Tuesday evening that they would ending their active search for the remaining six, after two of them were rescued by teams. 

Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said that due to the period of time in the water ‘we do not believe that we are going to find any of these individuals still alive.’ 

Miguel Luna, 49, had been one of those construction workers and is presumed dead alongside his colleagues. 

His wife, Maria del Carmen Castellon told Telemundo 44: ‘They only tell us that we have to wait, that for now, they can’t give us information. 

‘[We feel] devastated, devastated because our heart is broken, because we don’t know if they’ve rescued them yet. We’re just waiting to hear any news.’ 

A second man, Maynor Suazo, 37, a native of Honduras was identified in his homeland as another worker who is missing and presumed to be dead.

Maynor Suazo’s brother, Martin, told Honduran television that his brother emigrated in order to ‘improve the quality of his life.’

Martin said that he plans to travel to the United States in order to repatriate his brother’s remains.

In a separate interview with CNN, Martin confirmed that Suazo is survived by his son, 18, and daughter, five. 

Speaking to the outlet, Martin reiterated his brother’s desire for a better life in the US and said that he had also started his own maintenance company.

‘Maynor Suazo was a guy with warmth, quality of people, entrepreneur with a vision and mission to serve our community,’ a family friend wrote in a touching Facebook tribute.

The crew on board the ship were labelled heroes by Maryland Governor Wes Moore on Tuesday afternoon, after issuing a mayday. 

The first of the six: Miguel Luna, 49, was the first missing construction worker identified following the collapse

The first of the six: Miguel Luna, 49, was the first missing construction worker identified following the collapse

Maynor Suazo, seen here, a native of Honduras was identified in his homeland as another worker who is missing and presumed to be dead

Maynor Suazo, seen here, a native of Honduras was identified in his homeland as another worker who is missing and presumed to be dead

This allowed authorities to limit traffic on the span at the time, according to Governor Moore. 

As the vessel neared the bridge, puffs of black smoke could be seen as the lights flickered on and off. 

It struck one of the bridge’s supports, causing the structure to collapse like a toy, and a section of the span came to rest on the bow.

With the ship barreling toward the bridge at ‘a very rapid speed,’ authorities had just enough time to stop cars from coming over the bridge, Governor Moore said.

A police dispatcher put out a call just before the collapse saying a ship had lost its steering and asked officers to stop all traffic on the bridge.

One officer who stopped traffic radioed that he was going to drive onto the bridge to alert the construction crew.

But seconds later, a frantic officer said: ‘The whole bridge just fell down. Start, start whoever, everybody, the whole bridge just collapsed.’

The ship - the Singaporean-flagged Dali - was 20 minutes into its journey when it slammed into a support column on the bridge

The ship – the Singaporean-flagged Dali – was 20 minutes into its journey when it slammed into a support column on the bridge

An injured person was pictured being loaded into an ambulance after getting taken off the ship following the collapse

An injured person was pictured being loaded into an ambulance after getting taken off the ship following the collapse

The ship crashed into one of the bridge's supports, causing the structure to snap and buckle at several points

The ship crashed into one of the bridge’s supports, causing the structure to snap and buckle at several points

On a separate radio channel for maintenance and construction workers, someone said officers were stopping traffic because a ship had lost steering.

There was no follow-up order to evacuate, and 30 seconds later the bridge fell and the channel went silent.

The collapse is sure to create a logistical nightmare along the East Coast for months, if not years, shutting down ship traffic at the Port of Baltimore, a major hub. 

President Joe Biden, announced on Tuesday that the government would pay the full cost to replace the bridge and insisted it was an accident. 

Biden vowed to move ‘heaven and earth’ to get one of the world’s busiest ports reopened.

‘Losing this bridge will devastate the entire area, as well as the entire East Coast,’ state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling said.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said at a news conference that it was too soon to estimate how long it will take to clear the channel.



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