Episcopalians offer prayers and support after Maryland bridge collapse

By ENS Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early morning hours of March 26 in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, Episcopal entities have offered their prayers and promises of support. Six construction workers who had been filling potholes remain missing, and two others were rescued, one of whom was hospitalized. Emergency crews are searching for those still missing.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, headquartered in Baltimore, posted a prayer on its website “for those affected by the Key Bridge collapse.” It said, “Holy and gracious God, send your blessings upon all those in harm’s way, those who worry, and those who help. We lift up to you all of those working in and on the Patapsco River to rescue those who are lost. Bless first responders, victims, and those whose hearts are breaking. Bless our Charm City with grace, peace, and patience as we shift our paths to make way for restoration and rescue. We ask this in Jesus’s holy name. Amen. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.”

A pillar of the bridge, which carries traffic of Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River, was stuck about 1:30 a.m. Eastern by the Dali, a 948-foot-long cargo vessel, causing the bridge to collapse. A “mayday” call from the ship after it lost power allowed time to stop traffic from crossing the bridge. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

The Church Seamen’s Institute, an agency that serves seafarers and mariners and operates the Seafarers’ Center out of the Port of Newark, New Jersey, posted its condolences and support on Facebook:

“In the wake of the tragic loss of life resulting from the collision between the container ship Maersk Dali and the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, the Seamen’s Church Institute extends our heartfelt condolences to all impacted by this horrific maritime accident. Our immediate focus is on providing support and assistance to all the impacted mariners and first responders. We continue to actively monitor the situation within the Port of Baltimore, which is now facing prolonged closure. Many ships and mariners are now stranded in port and may need assistance. Our thoughts are for Baltimore in their time of need, and SCI stands ready to offer compassion and support as we join the maritime community and our fellow seafarer welfare organizations in navigating this tragedy together.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore called the episode a terrible accident. President Joe Biden said in an address that he expects the federal government will pay for the cost of rebuilding the bridge and called on Congress to support efforts to fund the repairs.