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Baltimore churches offer prayers for workers lost in bridge disaster

27 March 2024


The cargo ship under part of the structure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, in Baltimore, on Tuesday

The cargo ship under part of the structure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, in Baltimore, on Tuesday

PRAYERS have been offered for six people who are presumed to have died after the collapse of a bridge in Baltimore, in the United States, on Tuesday.

At about 1.30 a.m., a large container ship struck a support pillar of the Francis Scott Key bridge, triggering its immediate and almost total collapse.

Six construction workers who had been on the bridge at the time remain missing and are presumed dead.

During a mass at the RC Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, on Tuesday evening, the RC Archbishop of Baltimore, the Most Revd William Lori, prayed for those who had lost their lives.

“While we know that our lives are fragile, a moment such as this reminds us what can change in but an instant,” he said. “In the charity of our prayers tonight, we lift up these souls, those who have gone and those who remain, to the Lord of life and love.”

The Catholic Review, a Baltimore-based RC newspaper, reported that Archbishop Lori also spoke of the wider impact the incident would have on “seafarers from across the globe”, as well as local communities whose livelihoods are tied to the port, which has been closed since Tuesday, with little prospect of reopening until the fallen bridge is cleared.

The Episcopal diocese of Maryland posted a prayer on its website: “Holy and gracious God, send your blessings upon all those in harm’s way, those who worry, and those who help.

“We lift up to you all of those working in and on the Patapsco River to rescue those who are lost. Bless first responders, victims, and those whose hearts are breaking. Bless our Charm City with grace, peace, and patience as we shift our paths to make way for restoration and rescue.”

It has transpired that the 300-metre long ship, named The Dali, had lost power soon after leaving the nearby port of Baltimore, and issued a distress call as it veered off course. Efforts were made to stop traffic on the bridge, which spans the Patapsco river in Maryland, before the ship made impact, and brought the structure down into the ice-cold river.

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