Baltimore Key Bridge collapse news and rescue efforts

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks during a news conference near the scene where a container ship collided with a support on the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore, on March 26.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks during a news conference near the scene where a container ship collided with a support on the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore, on March 26. Matt Rourke/AP

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says if private companies are responsible for the Francis Scott Key Bridge cargo ship crash, they will be held responsible.

“To be clear: if any private party is responsible and accountable for this, then they will be held accountable,” he told CNN. “But we can’t wait for that to play out to get to work right now,” he said.

Buttigieg predicted a “long road to recovery” for the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Port of Baltimore, telling CNN Wednesday that getting the bridge back up and the port reopen will be a priority for the Biden administration.

When asked if he had any idea when the Patapsco River channel might reopen, Buttigieg said he did not have an estimated time, but was working with relevant authorities, including the US Coast Guard, to get it open as soon as possible. He noted that the conditions of the remaining pier will also impact that timeline.

“Not only do we need to get those ships in, there are some ships that are already in there that can’t get out. So, it’s very important to get that channel open,” he said.

Buttigieg also warned of disruptions to supply chains in the near-term: “The impact of this incident is going to be felt throughout the region and really throughout our supply chains. We’re talking about the biggest vehicle-handling port in the country that is now out of commission until that channel can be cleared — and a bridge that took five years to build.”

First appeared on www.cnn.com

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