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The container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore yesterday, causing it to collapse (OSV News/Julia Nikhinson, Reuters)

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori called for prayers after a container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in that city, leading to a catastrophic collapse yesterday. Source: CNA.

The 300-metre Dali cargo ship struck one of the bridge’s support columns just before 1.30am. Footage on social media showed the 2.57 kilometre-long, multi-lane bridge quickly collapsing after being struck. 

In a statement posted to X hours later, Archbishop Lori said he was “saddened, as you are, to learn of the tragic incident overnight that led to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Baltimore harbour”.

“Pray with me for all involved, especially the victims travelling 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,” Archbishop Lori wrote. 

“Let us join in prayer asking the Lord to grant consolation and strength as we cope with this terrible tragedy,” the archbishop said. 

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, likewise issued a call for prayers on Tuesday morning. The Arlington Diocese is located about 65 kilometres from the Key Bridge.

“At this time of uncertainty, in which rescuers are heroically working to find survivors of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, I call on all people of goodwill to pray that additional survivors will be recovered and for first responders, the victims, and their families,” Burbidge wrote on X. 

As of Tuesday afternoon local time, at least six individuals who were reportedly on the bridge at the time of the collapse were unaccounted for.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said a mayday call from the ship prior to the accident allowed authorities to close the bridge just before the collapse, stopping traffic from crossing as the bridge fell apart.

“’I’m thankful for the folks, once the warning came up and once notification came up that there was a mayday, who literally by being able to stop cars from coming over the bridge — these people are heroes,” he told reporters. “They saved lives last night.”


Baltimore archbishop calls for prayers after catastrophic bridge collapse (By Daniel Payne, CNA)


Urgent need for prayers after Baltimore bridge collapse (OSV News)