‘This is no ordinary bridge…path to normalcy will not be easy’: US Transportation Secy on Baltimore bridge collapse – World News Network

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By Reena Bharadwaj
Maryland [US], March 27 (ANI): US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg emphasised that the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which collapsed earlier on Tuesday, was not an ordinary bridge and was one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure and added that the path to normalcy will not be easy.
The Singapore-flagged vessel collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland, leading to its collapse on Tuesday.
Following the collapse, the US Secretary of Transportation said that bringing everything back to normal would not be quick and inexpensive.
“This is no ordinary bridge. This is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure. It has been part of the skyline of this region for longer than many of us have been alive. So the path to normalcy will not be easy. It will not be quick, and it will not be inexpensive, but we will build together in order to make sure that happens,” he said.
He further extended gratitude for the extraordinary and courageous work of the first responders, some of whom are in that cold water right now, some of whom are from right here.
“We are all putting our arms around the community of Baltimore, and that is true for all of this country,” Buttigieg said.
He further noted that he has heard from counterparts as far away as the UK reaching out to express their support for the people of Baltimore.
Moreover, Buttigieg is in close contact with the governor, the mayor, the county leadership, and the congressional delegation.
“As President Biden has made clear, the federal government will provide all of the support that they need for as long as it takes,” he said.
The US president’s plan is to work with everyone here to rebuild this bridge and reopen this port, “including our readiness as a department to approve emergency funding as soon as we receive that request,” he added.
Meanwhile, the US Maritime Administration will help with harbour port, harbor and supply chain operations.
“The Federal Aviation Administration is even involved, working to keep the airspace above the bridge clear for emergency personnel,” he said.
Moreover, he also said, “We’re going to be working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board as they lead their independent investigation and with the Coast Guard as they continue operations in the water.”
Buttigieg added that the work is just beginning for the Coast Guard to rebuild this bridge and deal with impacts in the meantime, “Reopen this port and deal with supply chain impacts in the meantime.”
But today, they are most acutely focused on the emergency operations underway and on the families that have been impacted.
A local resident of Baltimore, Crystal Pears, said that if the bridge had collapsed later in the day, it would have been a tragedy as thousands of people commute through that bridge.

“It would have been a tragedy (if the bridge had collapsed later in the day). My husband is a truck driver, and he uses that bridge to commute…For me, it would have hit home…Had it happened at 1:40 in the afternoon, we would have had a very different experience…,” Pears said.
She further highlighted that the bridge has a very strong history in America.
“It’s where our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, comes from. It’s named after Francis Scott Key, who is the writer of our national anthem,” she highlighted.
Further emphasising that the impact of this would be substantial, she said, “So Maryland in itself has a lot of history, and Dundalk has a lot of history that people I don’t even really know about, which is incredible. And the Baltimore area is here, so the impact that’s going to have is substantial.”
Pears added that the bridge was built 47 years ago, hence, there’s a lot of sentimentality in the community about the bridge.
“People who live in this community, their grandparents and their parents helped build that bridge 47 years ago, and it just hit its birthday this month. So there’s a lot of sentimentality in the community,” she said.
Another resident, Kely June Pears, said that around 1:30 am, she heard the noise and her house was vibrating.
“At around 1:30 am, I heard the noise and it was vibrating in the house… it only happened for, like, 5 seconds. I was really scared…My brother came and told me that the bridge had fallen,” she said.

The Indian Embassy in the US shared their dedicated hotline number for those affected or who require assistance.
“Our heartfelt condolences to all affected by the unfortunate accident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. For any Indian citizens that may be affected/ require assistance, the Embassy of India has created a dedicated hotline: please reach out to us on +1-202-717-1996. Kindly avoid directing routine queries/ request to this number,” the Indian Embassy in the US posted on X.
https://x.com/IndianEmbassyUS/status/1772691871011057739?s=20
A 948-foot container ship smashed into a four-lane bridge in the US port of Baltimore.
Earlier today, US President Joe Biden said that eight people were unaccounted for after the Baltimore Bridge collapse, out of which two have been rescued, while the rescue operation is ongoing for the remaining six.
Biden also said that the ship traffic in the port of Baltimore has been suspended until further notice and the channel will be cleared before the ship traffic resumes again. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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