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Dramatic Photos from the Baltimore Bridge Collapse and Desperate Rescue Efforts

After the Francis Key Scott Bridge was struck by a ship on Tuesday morning, rescuers mobilized to rescue victims trapped on the scene

<p>JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

On Tuesday, residents of Baltimore woke up to the alarming news that the city's Francis Scott Key Bridge had collapsed after it was hit by a large cargo ship.

The container ship Dali hit the bridge — which spans the Patapsco River via Interstate 695 — around 1:30 a.m., sending several cars into the water. Eight construction workers were also tending to the bridge when it was hit; as of noon ET, rescuers are still searching for six of them.

Here, dramatic photos from the scene as the rescue efforts continue in the frigid water. Stay tuned to PEOPLE's liveblog for more updates.

The Early Hours

<p>Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty </p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

The 948-ft. container ship collided with the 1.6-mile bridge after issuing a "mayday" call after the freighter lost power, according to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, who gave a press conference Tuesday morning.

“We had officials that were able to begin to stop the flow of traffic so that more cars were not on the bridge,” Moore told reporters. “Many of the vehicles were stopped before they got on the bridge, which saved lives.”

“These people are heroes," the governor added.

Terrifying Moments

<p>Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

A dramatic video obtained by PEOPLE showed the moment the ship collided with the bridge, sending it section by section into the river. Lights on both the bridge and ship went out immediately, and a plume of smoke rose from the ship as well.

A Desperate Search

<p>JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

At Tuesday morning's press conference, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld told reporters that eight workers were repairing potholes on the bridge when the collapse occurred.

No Evidence of Terrorism

<p>JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

According to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, “We are still investigating what happened but we are quickly gathering details. We haven’t seen any credible evidence of a terrorist attack.”

Continued Efforts

<p>JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

As daylight came, rescuers had a clearer picture of the scene.

Difficult Conditions

<p>JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

"This happened at 01:30 a.m. with limited visibility so we are working aggressively, considering the environmental temperatures as well as the water temperatures to try and rescue and perhaps recover individuals," Kevin Cartwright, director of communications of the Baltimore City Fire Department, told CNN.

Much Ground to Cover

<p>SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

"We are still very much in an active search and rescue posture at this point and we will continue to be for some time," Baltimore Fire Department Chief James Wallace shared in a press conference. "We have a large area that we have to search. This includes on the surface of the water, subsurface, as well as on the deck of the ship itself."

Early Start

<p>JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

The time of the collision made initial rescue efforts particularly hard given the darkness.

The Key Bridge

<p>Kena Betancur/Getty </p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Kena Betancur/Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

The Francis Scott Key Bridge opened in 1977, and is 8,636-ft. long, making it a vital piece of Baltimore's transportation system.

Focus Is to 'Save Souls'

<p>Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

“There were individuals on this bridge when the tragedy happened. We have our fire teams, our marine teams, our police and marine teams out there,” Gov. Moore said in Tuesday's press conference. “Now with the sunlight coming up, we can actually put drivers in the water to try to save souls. And that’s where the focus is and will remain for us for quite some time."

The Wreckage

<p>JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty </p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Pieces of steel remained wrapped around the ship following the collision.

The Aftermath

<p>Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

In a video of the collapse, the bridge fell into the water segment by segment.

From Afar

<p>MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

A helicopter circled the wreckage as the sun rose.

'Very Rapid'

<p>Rob Carr/Getty</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Rob Carr/Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Gov. Moore said the ship was moving at "a very, very rapid speed" at the time of the crash.

'Never Imagined'

<p>Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty</p> Baltimore bridge collapse photos

Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty

Baltimore bridge collapse photos

From the neighborhood of Dundalk, residents watched the scene.

A Baltimore resident named Jim, who lives about a mile away from the Francis Scott Key Bridge, told Sky News he awoke around 1:30 a.m. local time to the bridge's collapse, calling it an "indescribable sound."

"At first I thought it was a sonic boom from the aircraft," he said. "I never imagined something like this could happen."

Stay tuned to PEOPLE's live blog for more updates.

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