Biden vows to ‘move heaven and earth’ to rebuild Baltimore Key Bridge | EUROtoday

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday vowed to make use of federal authorities assets to rapidly rebuild Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge and reopen the Port of Baltimore after a container ship struck a bridge pier and collapsed the construction, blocking an important delivery channel and clogging visitors on a serious interstate freeway.

Speaking from the Roosevelt Room simply earlier than departing the White House for a marketing campaign swing by way of North Carolina, Mr Biden praised emergency responders and mentioned he has been in shut contact with Maryland Governor Wes Moore, the state’s two senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, in addition to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Mayor Brandon Scott and Representative Kewsi Fume, the House member whose district encompasses the collapsed bridge.

The president mentioned he and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg are sending the Maryland officers “all the federal resources they need as we respond to this emergency” and promised that they might “rebuild that port together”.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the brave rescuers who immediately rushed to the sea and to the people of Baltimore,” he mentioned. “We’re with you, we’re going to stay with you as long as it takes.”

The president’s feedback got here just below 12 hours after the Singaporean-flagged cargo provider Dali misplaced energy and issued a misery name stating that the huge vessel had misplaced the flexibility to manoeuvre after departing the Port of Baltimore at roughly 1am ET.

The container ship slammed into one of many bridge’s assist piers, inflicting a progressive collapse because the 50-year-old construction tumbled into the Patapsco River.

Mr Biden mentioned the proof accessible to federal authorities has given them no purpose to contemplate the collision and ensuing collapse something besides “a terrible accident” and praised the ship’s crew for promptly alerting Maryland Department of Transportation personnel once they misplaced management of the huge container provider.

Citing officers on the scene, the president mentioned roughly eight folks stay unaccounted for presently, although he conceded that the variety of lacking might change.

But Mr Biden additionally identified that the Port of Baltimore must stay closed throughout search and rescue efforts, and mentioned the delivery channel would should be cleared of wreckage earlier than any visitors may cross by way of what he known as “one of the nation’s largest shipping hubs” — a port that handles roughly 850,000 car imports every year and helps 15,000 jobs.

“It handled a record of cargo last year. It’s also the top port in America both imports and exports of automobiles and light trucks … we’re gonna do everything we can to protect those jobs and help those workers,” he mentioned, including that the now-collapsed bridge was “critical for travel” for the whole Northeast Corridor area, carrying roughly 30,000 automobiles per day.

“I’m directing my team to move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible,” he mentioned.

Mr Biden additionally mentioned he and Maryland authorities would “work with our partners in Congress” to make sure that the Old Line State will get “the support it needs” however he vowed that the federal authorities would “pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge”.

Though the president conceded that reconstruction would “take some time,” he mentioned he expects Congress to assist rebuilding efforts and promised that the folks of Baltimore may “count on us so to stick with them at every step of the way, till the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt”.

“We’re not leaving until this job gets done,” he mentioned.