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In Terrifying Audio, Police Desperately Try to Clear Bridge Before Impact

Hacksaw Bridge

Just before 1:30 am, a massive 95,000-ton cargo ship issued an urgent "mayday" signal, warning first responders to clear the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Moments later, the vessel smashed into a piling, sending several sections of the massive structure into the river below.

Terrifying audio, uploaded by the YouTube channel Broadcastify and spotted by Business Insider, documents the harrowing moments leading up to the disaster, with officers desperately trying to clear the bridge.

"I need one of you guys on the south side, one of you guys on the north side," one officer said, roughly three minutes before the collision. "Hold all traffic on the key bridge."

"C-13 dispatch!" another officer exclaimed as the disaster unfolded. "The whole bridge just fell down! Star... whoever, everybody, the whole bridge just collapsed."

Stop All Traffic

The radio messages paint a dire scene as officials try to get in touch with crew workers who were busy fixing potholes on the bridge at the time.

"10-4, all traffic on the key bridge is down, we got workers in the water," one of the officers can be heard saying over the radio, requesting marine rescue services.

Despite a major search-and-rescue mission, authorities announced on Tuesday that six of the eight workers have since been presumed dead.

"I’m very sad right now," Brawner Builders worker Jesus Campos told WaPo in Spanish. "These are my co-workers and friends."

Fortunately, thanks to a quick response, officials were able to avoid a disaster of much greater proportions.

"Literally by being able to stop cars from coming over the bridge, these people are heroes," Maryland governor Wes Moore told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.

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