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Adrift Ship Forces Closure of South Carolina Bridge

via WCBD
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A massive 997 foot container ship called the MSC Michigan lost power and control of its engines while traveling through Charleston Harbor toward the port of Savannah, Georgia.

With its throttles stuck going 14-17 knots, it headed toward the busy Arthur Ravenel Bridge connecting Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

The Coast Guard closed the bridge and cleared pedestrians and cyclists from the path.

“The pilot on board indicated the vessel lost ability to control the engines and they were stuck nearly full-ahead with the vessel making between 14 to 17 knots,” Deputy Commander Randy Preston said. “Throttles were near-full forward and could not be moved out of that position.”

Video showed traffic backed up on both sides as the out-of-control ship approached.

“I threw my bike down, grabbed my phone, and jumped in the back of the police car with a couple of other pedestrians and it was kind of scary,” local resident and witness Lisa Riente said. “We were going across the bridge trying to get other pedestrians and warn them that there was an out-of-control boat headed towards the bridge.”

Engineers said the Ravenel Bridge could withstand an impact unlike the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore that recently collapsed from a similar incident, killing six.

The Coast Guard is investigating how the ship lost power but confirmed the bridge suffered no damage in the end.

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