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Chilling audio reveals panicked cops’ desperate rush to stop cars on Baltimore bridge as they watch ship plough into it

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AUDIO has revealed the heart-stopping moment cops rush to stop cars crossing Baltimore Bridge seconds before it collapsed.

Authorities had received a mayday call from the crew of a cargo ship after it lost power and smashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The heart-stopping moment one of the cops reported the bridge collapsing into the river

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The heart-stopping moment one of the cops reported the bridge collapsing into the river
The wreckage of the bridge on top of the cargo ship on Tuesday morning

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The wreckage of the bridge on top of the cargo ship on Tuesday morningCredit: AFP
The journey time of the ship ahead of crashing into the bridge

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The journey time of the ship ahead of crashing into the bridge

The structure collapsed on impact and plummeted into the Patapsco River below, taking a number of cars and construction workers with it.

Two people were rescued from the freezing waters but six remain unaccounted for and are feared dead.

But the quick thinking of the cargo ship crew to issue the mayday call enabled cops to limit vehicle traffic on the span, ensuring many more lives were saved.

However, harrowing audio of Baltimore officials rushing to stop traffic on the bridge seconds before disaster has been revealed.

About 90 seconds after the cargo ship’s mayday call, one cop is heard on the audio reporting the bridge has collapsed.

“I need one of you guys on the south side, one of you guys on the north side, hold all traffic on the Key Bridge,” one person is heard saying.

“There’s a ship approaching that just lost their steering so until we get that under control, we’ve got to stop all traffic.”

“The whole bridge just fell down. Start, start whoever … everybody. The whole bridge just collapsed,” they said.

Another person then says: “I can’t get to the other side, sir. The bridge is down.”

Footage showed the moment the The MV Dali, a Singapore-registered container ship, lost power and collided with the bridge.

Inside horror cargo ship smash into Baltimore bridge as desperate hunt continues for missing six

Black smoke could be seen coming out of the vessel as lights flickered on and off.

Then just seconds after smashing into one of the pillars of the bridge, the majority of the structure collapsed into the river below.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said: “With the ship barrelling toward the bridge at a very, very rapid speed, authorities had just enough time to stop cars from coming over the bridge.

“These people are heroes. They saved lives last night.”

A search and rescue operation was immediately launched to locate eight construction workers who had fallen off the bridge, with two found soon after.

One was taken to hospital in a serious condition, while the other was discharged the same night.

The remaining six have yet to be found and the search has now transitioned into a recovery mission rather than rescue, Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., superintendent for Maryland State Police, announced.

He said divers would return to the site at 6am on Wednesday, when challenging overnight conditions were expected to have improved.

Authorities said based on the amount of time that’s passed since the bridge collapsed and the freezing water temperatures, it is unlikely any of those missing will be found alive.

No bodies have been recovered, Butler said.

He added: “At this point, we do not know where they are.

“But we intend to give it our best effort to help these families find closure.”

Multiple vehicles also went into the river, although authorities did not believe anyone was inside.

The 948-foot-long container collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge shortly after it left its port at 1:26am on Tuesday morning.

It's been estimated that the crew of the ship could be stranded on board for up to two weeks as rescuers scramble to remove the wreckage

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It’s been estimated that the crew of the ship could be stranded on board for up to two weeks as rescuers scramble to remove the wreckageCredit: AFP
Other parts of the bridge have been almost fully submerged in the river

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Other parts of the bridge have been almost fully submerged in the riverCredit: Getty
The vessel crashed into the bridge after losing all power in the early hours of Tuesday morning

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The vessel crashed into the bridge after losing all power in the early hours of Tuesday morningCredit: Reuters

Mayor Scott said a preliminary investigation suggested the collision was an accident.

The FBI has ruled out the incident was linked to a terror attack.

The ship’s management company, Synergy Marine Pte Ltd, said the crew onboard dropped its anchor before impact as part of their emergency efforts to avoid the collision.

None of the 22 Indian nationals on board the ship are thought to have been hurt, but there are fears they could be stranded for up to two weeks after part of the bridge collapsed onto the vessel.

Andy Middleton, of the Apostleship of the Sea, said the crew would likely not be able to leave their ship until the debris had been cleared, the Daily Mail report.

Rescuers are battling to clear the wreckage of the bridge but with such a large chunk landing on top of the boat, it won’t be a quick or easy operation.

Middleton had been helping the crew prepare for their voyage and is now tasked with ensuring they have enough supplies to last them a fortnight.

He said he has been in constant contact with them since.

“I was able to reach out to them this morning and make sure that the crew was safe,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I’ve been checking in with one crew member throughout the day and he just said that they were ‘very busy’, probably trying to work out what caused the incident and then once that can be determined may try to repair it.

“My initial message this morning was to make sure they were ok and that if they need anything, we’ll make every effort to get it to them.

“They should be fairly-well stocked for food and water because they were embarking on a 28-day voyage.”

Middleton added that the men would likely have to stay on board to monitor the mechanical systems of the ship to ensure it doesn’t sink.

An early rescue is only likely if the vessel begins to take on water.

The Dali cargo ship appeared to have a total blackout moments before it struck the bridge

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The Dali cargo ship appeared to have a total blackout moments before it struck the bridgeCredit: X/YWNReporter
Smoke could be seen billowing from the vessel as it slowly turned and headed into the bridge's support beam

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Smoke could be seen billowing from the vessel as it slowly turned and headed into the bridge’s support beamCredit: X/YWNReporter
The vessel then slammed into the bridge, breaking it apart

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The vessel then slammed into the bridge, breaking it apartCredit: Twitter
The horror was on full display as the sun rose over Maryland

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The horror was on full display as the sun rose over MarylandCredit: EPA

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