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Audio has emerged of a first responder call as officials halted traffic on both sides of the Francis Scott Key Bridge moments before it collapsed.

The cargo ship had issued a mayday call to alert authorities it had lost power before it collided with the Baltimore bridge on Tuesday morning.

Following the call, Maryland Transportation Authority Police Dispatch and Response officials acted swiftly, shutting down the north and south sides of the bridge.

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Everything we know about the disaster
First missing worker named

In the audio, one official instructs: “Hold all traffic on the Key Bridge… There’s a ship approaching that just lost their steering so until we get that under control, we’ve got to stop all traffic.

“Make sure no one’s on the bridge right now. There’s a crew up there… You might want to notify the foreman to see if we can get them off the bridge temporarily.”

Another responds saying he would “grab the workers” but it was too late.

A second later, a voice is heard saying: “The whole bridge just fell down. Start, start whoever… everybody. The whole bridge just collapsed.”

In other developments, investigators at the National Safety Transportation Board have confirmed that the cargo ship’s data recorder has now been recovered – and they are examining whether contaminated fuel played a role in the crash.

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New angle shows moment bridge hit

The Dali ship ploughed into one of the bridge’s supports and, in an instant, the 1.6-mile-long structure had fallen into the Patapsco River, along with vehicles and workers who were on it at the time.

Six workers missing after the collapse are presumed dead, the executive vice president of Brawner Builders has confirmed.

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Officials say the rescue mission for the group has now become a recovery operation.

It comes as Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, was named as one of the six people on the Francis Scott Key Bridge when it collapsed.

All 22 crew members on board the ship, including the two pilots, have been accounted for and there were no reports of injuries.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that was struck by a container ship in Baltimore, Md., on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.  The container ship lost power and rammed into the major bridge causing the span to buckle into the river below. (Maxaar Technologies via AP)
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A satellite image of the incident. Pic: AP

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said he spoke to the families of the victims, assuring them since the mission had transitioned from search and rescue to recovery he would “put every possible resource to bring [them] a sense of closure”.

He praised the “true heroism” of the first responders who “saved countless lives that night”.

Mr Moore also said he was “overwhelmed” by the amount of support from both the Democratic and Republican parties as he stressed the importance of getting the bridge rebuilt.

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‘True accountability’ for Baltimore bridge collapse

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has promised that he will visit Baltimore “as soon as possible”, adding that the federal government will cover the “full cost” of rebuilding the bridge – which experts say could be over $600m (£474m).

He told reporters: “Everything so far indicates that this was a terrible accident. At this time we have no other indication, no other reason to believe there’s any intentional act here.

“Personnel on board the ship were able to alert the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel.”

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Timeline of Baltimore bridge collapse

Mr Biden added that this meant local authorities were able to close the bridge before it was struck, which “undoubtedly saved lives”.

He continued: “Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families [affected], especially those waiting for news of their loved one right now. I know every minute in that circumstance feels like a lifetime.”

The Key Bridge carries the Interstate 695 highway over the Patapsco River southeast of the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Its main section spans 1,200 feet and was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world upon its completion, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance.

The Dali was previously involved in a minor incident when it hit a quay at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium in 2016, where it was damaged, according to Vessel Finder and maritime accident site Shipwrecklog.

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Tram crash at Universal Studios Hollywood injures 15

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Tram crash at Universal Studios Hollywood injures 15

A tram crash at Universal Studios Hollywood has left 15 people injured.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department was called to the theme park shortly after 9pm local time on Saturday.

It said 15 people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

The crash occurred when the final car of one of the trams collided with a metal guardrail, which caused it to “tilt and eject multiple passengers”, the California Highway Patrol said.

The Highway Patrol said some of the injuries were “moderate” but did not specify how many.

The trams are used to take park visitors on behind-the-scenes tours of the sets where some of Universal’s biggest movies and TV shows were filmed.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Maria Abal suggested the four-car tram may have experienced an issue with its brakes.

Alcohol and drugs were not considered as a factor, said the Highway Patrol, which is leading the investigation.

A Universal Studios spokesperson told the Associated Press there were “multiple minor injuries” but did not provide details on the accident.

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The tram route, called the World-Famous Studio Tour, features sets from films such as 1975 classic Jaws and Jordan Peele’s recent hit Nope.

The crash came as Universal Studios Hollywood prepared to mark the 60th anniversary of the tour, with celebrations set to begin on Friday.

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Crucial $60.8bn Ukraine aid package approved by US House of Representatives after months of deadlock

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Crucial .8bn Ukraine aid package approved by US House of Representatives after months of deadlock

The US House of Representatives has approved sending $60.8bn (£49bn) in foreign aid to Ukraine.

Democrats and Republicans joined together after months of deadlock over renewed American support to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s invasion.

Representatives could be seen waving small Ukrainian flags as it became clear the package was going to pass.

Representatives wave Ukrainian flags
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Representatives wave Ukrainian flags

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted to say he was “grateful” for the decision, which he said “keeps history on the right track”.

He said: “Democracy and freedom will always have global significance and will never fail as long as America helps to protect it.

“The vital US aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger.”

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‘Grateful’ Zelenskyy reacts to US aid

Representatives also approved bills to send foreign aid to Israel and provide humanitarian relief to Palestinians in Gaza, give security assistance to Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific, and a measure containing several foreign policy proposals including a threat to ban Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.

The package will now go to the US Senate, where it is likely to be passed on Tuesday. President Joe Biden has then promised to sign it immediately.

“I urge the Senate to quickly send this package to my desk so that I can sign it into law and we can quickly send weapons and equipment to Ukraine to meet their urgent battlefield needs,” Mr Biden said.

What aid package means for Ukraine after profound impact of delay

The impact of this American blockage has been profound.

I have had multiple conversations with diplomats and military officials in Washington DC and all have said the same thing: the situation for Ukraine is depressing, Russia has the upper hand and prospects for Kyiv, without more weapons, are bleak.

The Ukrainians have been running low on all weapons types, even small arms – bullets for their soldiers’ rifles.

Before the House of Representatives approved the $60.8bn aid package on Saturday, it had been more than 480 days since Congress last passed a bill allowing for American weapons to be sent to Ukraine.

There was a White House budgetary fudge earlier this year which freed up some more cash from an existing bill and allowed for some more weapons to be sent. But it wasn’t enough.

Read more of Mark Stone’s analysis here.

Bill will ‘further ruin’ Ukraine, Russia warns

Moscow said the passage of the bill would “further ruin” Ukraine and result in more deaths.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the TASS news agency a provision allowing Washington to confiscate seized Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine for reconstruction would tarnish the image of the US.

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‘Ukraine can and will win’

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said the funding was “a vital step forward”.

“If Putin ever doubted the West’s resolve to back Ukraine, this shows our collective will is undimmed,” he tweeted.

“With support, Ukraine can and will win.”

But Donald Trump ally Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican representative who has opposed helping Ukraine in its war against Russia, said “people have been too obsessed with voting for foreign wars and the war industry”.

Speaking after the vote passed, she said: “This is the sellout of America today. When we had members of Congress in there waving the Ukrainian flag on the United States House of Representatives floor, while we’re doing nothing to secure our border, I think every American is going to be furious.”

Mr Biden first requested the funding in October, as Ukraine’s military supplies began to dwindle.

In February, Mr Zelenskyy urged Congress to pass the funding, saying if it did not “it will leave me wondering what world we are living in”.

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TikTok could be banned in US after House of Representatives passes bill

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TikTok could be banned in US after House of Representatives passes bill

TikTok could be banned in the US if the social media app’s Chinese owner doesn’t sell its stake after the House of Representatives voted in support of the measure.

The TikTok legislation has been included in a US foreign policy package, which has already seen representatives approve sending $60.8bn (£49bn) in foreign aid to Ukraine, security assistance for Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific, and will likely see the approval of foreign aid funding for Ukraine and Israel.

Once approved, the package will then go to the US Senate, where it is likely to be passed on Tuesday. President Joe Biden has said he would sign the TikTok legislation once it reaches his desk.

If the bill becomes law, the owner of the popular video-sharing app will have nine months to find a buyer, with a possible three-month extension while a sale is in progress, or face a ban.

A previous bill passed by the House last month would have given owner ByteDance only six months to sell.

The company will likely try to challenge the law in court, arguing it would deprive the app’s millions of users of their First Amendment rights, which protect freedom of speech.

Such court challenges could significantly delay the timeline set out by Congress or block the law from coming into effect.

TikTok’s chief executive has appealed to US users directly to campaign to stop the bill.

“We will not stop fighting and advocating for you,” Shou Zi Chew said in a video posted on the platform last month that was directed at the app’s users.

“We will continue to do all we can, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this amazing platform that we have built with you.”

The FBI has warned TikTok owner ByteDance could share user data, such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers, with China’s authoritarian government.

TikTok has said it has never done that and would not do so if asked.

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In 2022, Mr Biden banned the use of TikTok by the federal government’s nearly four million employees on devices owned by its agencies, with limited exceptions for law enforcement, national security and security research purposes.

The approved bill including the TikTok legislation would also allow the US to seize frozen Russian central bank assets to help rebuild Ukraine and impose sanctions on Iran, Russia and China, as well as criminal organisations that traffic the drug fentanyl.

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