NTSB | Inset: Adobe Stock

Political and religious leaders of Baltimore, as well as the state of Maryland, have called for prayers after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on Tuesday morning, causing several people to fall into the water, six of them presumed dead. Early Tuesday morning, the Key Bridge collapsed after a cargo ship leaving the Port of Baltimore crashed into the bridge, causing the bridge to quickly fall. Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace said at a news conference, “There were likely multiple people on the bridge at the time of the collapse, and…as a result, multiple people were in the water.” At least two people were rescued from the water while authorities continue to search for the remaining six individuals.

Many state, local and federal officials, as well as faith leaders, are calling for prayers as the search continues for the missing six people.  Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott called the bride collapse an “unthinkable tragedy” as he appeared alongside Wallace at the Tuesday news conference. “We have to first and foremost, pray for all of those who are impacted, those families,” he said. Scott also urged people to “pray for our first responders and thank them, all of them working together: city, state, local to make sure that we are working through this tragedy.” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski shared a similar statement as he spoke at the news conference. “I would just echo the mayor in lifting up prayers for those who are impacted but also ask that our residents…pray for our first responders.” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, issued a statement Tuesday after declaring a state of emergency. “We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.”

Several religious leaders have also offered their prayers after the tragedy. Archbishop William Lori, the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, released a statement reacting to the bridge collapse Tuesday. “I am 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 harbor,” he said. Lori urged people to “pray with me for all involved, especially the victims traveling 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.” He added, “Let us join in prayer in asking the Lord to grant consolation and strength as we cope with this terrible tragedy.” There have been several prayer vigils held for the people who lost their lives during the collapse and for the people who were injured. Scott took to Facebook Tuesday to invite people to join him and “faith Leaders from across the city in a moment of unity and solace in response” by attending a prayer vigil at Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Turner Station in nearby Dundalk, Maryland.

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