via Associated Press

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Early Tuesday morning, a 213 million-pound cargo ship lost power while leaving the port of Baltimore and veered into one of the two main central pillars supporting the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing the bridge to collapse.

The ship was able to send out a warning prior to the collision, allowing time for many cars to clear the bridge. But six construction workers who were on the bridge at the time are now presumed dead, and recovery efforts are ongoing.

Efforts are underway to clear debris from the collapse that has prevented other ships from using the port, which is the 10th busiest port in the country by annual volume of containers processed. 

An analysis in the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) detailed the larger economic impact of the temporary closure of the port, which handles 850,000 vehicles annually. In 2023, 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo worth $80 billion passed through the port. It is not yet known how long it will be before the debris is cleared and the port is reopened. Constructed in the 1970s for approximately $110 million, the Key Bridge served as one of the longest continuous-truss bridges in the U.S., with more than 30,000 vehicles crossing its 1.6-mile span every day.

The reconstruction could take years and will likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars. President Joe Biden called on Congress to fund its reconstruction.

An article in the Wall Street Journal (Center bias) previewed the expected battle over liability. The ship was registered with a company in Singapore. The article states that the company will likely invoke a 19th-century law limiting the liability of ship owners. The legal battle could last as long as a decade.

An article in CNN (Lean Left bias) detailed the conspiracy theories that circulated online following the collapse, with some framing it as a deliberate attack on U.S. infrastructure. The article stated, "It is a stark reminder of the erosion of trust among Americans in major institutions, particularly government and media, and the perverse online incentive structures that reward the sharing of misinformation."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters on Wednesday, "We are committed to delivering every federal resource needed, every federal resource needed to help Maryland get back to normal, and we're going to work with them every step of the way to rebuild this bridge. It is not going to be simple. Rebuilding will not be quick or easy or cheap, but we will get it done."

In the New York Times Opinion (Left bias), the chief executive of a supply chain technology and logistics company laid out what the collapse means for the maritime shipping industry. Ships will now be redirected to other ports, leading to a surge in traffic that some locations might be ill-prepared for. The executive concluded, "what’s obvious to those of us in the shipping industry is that chronic underinvestment in America’s ports makes them ill-suited to handle the surging volumes they are likely to experience, as traffic planned for Baltimore is shifted to neighboring ports."

More from AllSides

More from the Left

Baltimore’s tragic bridge collapse is a test for American leadership
The Washington Post (opinion)

"Though this Congress appears to be competing to be the least effective in memory, lawmakers should move swiftly to allocate the money, as Congress has in similar incidents. The National Transportation Safety Board is also on scene to begin assessing what went wrong on the ship."

More from the Right

Don’t blame DEI for Baltimore bridge collapse
The Washington Examiner (opinion)

"Conservatives are in the process of overusing the phrase 'DEI' like liberals have done with 'racist' or 'Nazi.' Once the phrase loses its definition and focus, it becomes much easier for ideological adversaries to dismiss it as a meaningless smear."

More from the Center

Insurers could face losses of up to $4 billion after Baltimore bridge tragedy, analyst says

"Initial estimates of the cost of rebuilding the bridge, which is likely to be paid by the federal government, are at $600 million, economic software analysis company IMPLAN said. The closure of the port for just one month could see a total loss of $28 million for the state of Maryland, according to IMPLAN analysis."

See more big stories from the past week.