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CNN International: Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Ship Collision; Ohtani: I Never Bet on Baseball or Any Other Sport. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 26, 2024 - 04:30   ET



ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. More now on our breaking news out of Baltimore, Maryland. Where the Francis Scott Key Bridge has collapsed into the river below.

Well, this happened about three hours ago when a large ship collided with one of the bridge's supports. We don't yet know if anyone has been injured or killed. But we've just learned from the city's fire department that rescue crews are searching for at least seven people. And that multiple vehicles fell into the water.


We'll bring you any new developments as we get it here on CNN.

Well, now we have Kevin Cartwright, director of communications with the Baltimore City Fire Department on the line. Kevin, please bring us up to date on the latest information.

KEVIN CARTWRIGHT, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, BALTIMORE CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT (via phone): Yes, good morning. Right now we are here at Fort Armistead Park in the midst of and managing a mass casualty multi-agency incident here. As you know, approximately 1:30 this morning, a vessel traveling through the Patapsco River outbound collided with a column causing a collapse of the key bridge. Unfortunately, we understand that there is up to 20 individuals who may be in the Patapsco River right now as well as multiple vehicles.

So we have, as indicated, a mass casualty multi-agency incident underway. We have our dive team members. We have representatives from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Baltimore County Fire Department, Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maryland Transportation Authority, police.

So this is a mass incident that we have underway right now.

COREN: Kevin, that number has obviously grown from seven to 20. Do you believe that these people were all in vehicles? Were there crews working on the bridge at 1.30 in the morning? Because we've been able to sort of see flashing lights on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

CARTWRIGHT: Yes, actually, all of that is being considered as we speak. And information continues to develop the further we get into this incident. As you can imagine, this happened at 1.30 a.m. with limited visibility.

So we are working aggressively considering, you know, the environmental temperatures as well as the water temperatures to try and rescue and perhaps recover individuals.

We understand that it could have potentially been a vehicle, a tractor trailer or a vehicle as large as a tractor trailer on the bridge at the time that it collapsed. So we anticipate, you know, being here for some days to come.

COREN: And Kevin, looking at this footage, I mean, the bridge collapsed on top of the ship as well. Have we heard from the captain, from the crew of the ship?

CARTWRIGHT: Well, we're working in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard who are in the process of establishing contact with that vessel to assure and assess whether or not there were any injuries of individuals on that vessel and identify and provide the appropriate treatment, care and transportation to those individuals as well.

As you can imagine, this is quite an incident here and an ongoing investigation. So information will be developing, you know, by the hour as we continue into this incident.

COREN: Kevin, if you can tell us a little bit more about, you know, this bridge that it's, you know, obviously well frequented, even at 1:30 in the morning. As you say, you are now searching for 20 people -- and the port. Tell us, you know, what is coming out of that port, where that that ship was heading. If you have any of those details, please.

CARTWRIGHT: Yes, so again, it's very, very early. And we will need to be in contact with the operators of that vessel to, you know, assess what their manifest was, what they may have been carrying, importing or exporting, identifying where, you know, their destination may have been. And again, identify whether or not anybody was actually injured on that vessel.

So the key bridge, as you indicated, is very, very highly frequented on a daily basis by commuters throughout the Baltimore metropolitan region. So at that hour, we understand that there were, you know, some vehicles on the bridge at the time of the collapse. So this is still lots of pieces that we still have to put together. And it's going to take some time to accurately do that. So we don't want to speculate too much, but, you know, methodically work to identify exactly what happened and how we can mitigate this incident.

COREN: Kevin, you mentioned that the crews you're also working with the U.S. Coast Guard. I presume that there are divers in the water as we speak or preparing to get in the water.

[04:40:00] CARTWRIGHT: Well, we have Baltimore City Fire Department dive rescue team as well as assets and dive team members rescue vessels from our jurisdictional partners from Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Baltimore County Fire Department. And many others.

And the Baltimore City Fire Department is simply leading this incident and the management of it in collaboration with our jurisdictional partners.

COREN: And Kevin, are any family members or local folks arriving, people who worked at the port, people who were driving across the bridge? We know that it was around 1:30 a.m. that the ship hit. It was shortly after that that a 911 call was made regarding this this, this emergency. So maybe just describe to us, to our audience, the scene around you.

CARTWRIGHT: Yes, right now, I'm actually standing at the water's edge. I can actually see quite a number of emergency response vessels in the water. You have their lights flashing and almost a perimeter around this land base here. And we have our dive team members that are off at a distance, probably, you know, as far as 300 yards, actively looking for individuals as well as vehicles in the water.

And again, considering that it's early in the morning hours, visibility is quite challenging. So they're doing the best they can at this moment. And as the light avails itself to us, we will engage even further in this rescue, potentially recovery incident.

COREN: Kevin, I think what is just so striking looking at the video is how quickly this this bridge just collapses. And it's not just a partial collapse. It's it appears to be the entire bridge. So you would have to assume the ship has, has hit that column with some force.

CARTWRIGHT: Absolutely. That certainly has to be considered. And again, this bridge has been in place for, you know, quite some time and has served many, many commuters in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

So we will be, again, as the investigation ensues, there will be structure engineers involved to try and assess, you know, what the condition of the bridge is right now, which we know is unsafe conditions, but as well what the condition was prior to the actual collapse of it. So this is a very devastating incident in which these individuals have encountered. So our hearts go out to each and every one of them.

And we will be working valiantly throughout the early morning to address this.

COREN: Kevin, before I let you go, can you describe to us the temperature where you are and perhaps the water temperature for those divers now searching for those perhaps 20 people in the water?

CARTWRIGHT: Yes. It feels like at least about 30 degrees where I am. It could be slightly lower, lower than that. And I'm sure the water temperature is even colder. I can't tell you exactly what, but I'm sure it's much colder than where I am standing on the land. And that can pose, you know, a concern and a risk for our divers.

So, again, we're doing things methodically and safely to assure that while our divers and everyone operating here on the scene is safe and that we're able to make progress without, you know, causing adverse harm to anyone else.

COREN: Well, Kevin, we know that you and the various agencies there on the ground have a huge operation ahead of you searching for the perhaps 20 people in the water right now. We really thank you for your time, for bringing us up to speed on what is happening right there in Baltimore, Maryland. Kevin Cartwright from the Baltimore City Fire Department, thank you so much.

CARTWRIGHT: Quite welcome.

COREN: We'll be right back. Stay with CNN.



COREN: Well, let's update you on our breaking news this hour. A major accident unfolding in the early morning hours today in Baltimore, Maryland. Video obtained by CNN shows a large ship colliding with the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse into the water below.

A fire department official says multiple vehicles fell into the water and rescue crews are searching for up to 20 people. We'll stay with CNN throughout the day for more on this breaking news.

Shohei Ohtani says he has never bet on baseball or any other sport. The Los Angeles Dodgers superstar is addressing the theft and gambling allegations against his former interpreter for the first time. CNN's Nick Watt has the details.



NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Shohei Ohtani came out and spoke hoping to lay to bed all the rumors and the stories that have been circulating since this story first broke nearly a week ago. Ohtani spoke through a new interpreter and basically said that his longtime interpreter and friend Ippei Mizuhara is basically a liar, a gambler and a thief. Take a little listen to what he had to say through that interpreter.

SHOHEI OHTANI, LOS ANGELES DODGERS DESIGNATED HITTER (through translator): I never bet on baseball or any other sports or never have asked somebody to do it on my behalf. And I have never went through a bookmaker to bet on sports.

Up until a couple of days ago, I didn't know that this was happening. Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies. WATT: Now, some suspicion had fallen on Ohtani because of dueling

narratives and also because the bookmaker at the center of all this, he had apparently been telling people that Shohei Ohtani was his client, not Ippei Mizuhara, the interpreter.

Now, I spoke to the lawyer for that bookie. The bookie is Matthew Bowyer. The lawyer is Diane Bass. She said, listen, Bowyer, sure, he might have said that, but he was just bragging, boasting. You know, it was a good marketing ploy to say that Shohei Ohtani, perhaps the greatest baseball player to ever live, was your client. But she reiterated that Ohtani and the bookie had zero direct contact whatsoever.

Now, why this is such a big story? Well, this is Shohei Ohtani's opening week here at the L.A. Dodgers. He came on a $700 million, 10- year contract. He's a two-way player. He pitches. He hits. He is spoken of in the same breaths as Babe Ruth. And, you know, there was a poll of MLB players asked who's the best player right now. Two-thirds of them said it was Ohtani.

So Ohtani and the Dodgers clearly trying to put this to bed so that the focus can be on him at the Dodgers and opening day Thursday.

Nick Watt, CNN, inside Dodger Stadium.


COREN: An NBA spokesperson says the league is looking into betting anomalies involving Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter. DraftKings Sportsbook reportedly flagged two games where users betting against Porter's three-point shots were the biggest winners of the day.

Porter, who played college basketball at Missouri, left both games early. DraftKings refused to comment on these specifics but noted that legal and regulated sports betting identifies and reports suspicious activity.

The top-scoring U.S. college basketball player of all time among both women and men has broken yet another record. The Hawkeyes' Caitlin Clark notched 32 points in Iowa's win over the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second round of the NCAA tournament. That gave Clark the Division I women's record for most points scored in a single season with 1,113. Clark's masterful performance helped the Hawkeyes soar into the so-called Sweet 16 of the tournament.

Top-seeded Iowa now faces No. 5 Colorado on Saturday.

Well, parts of the U.S. are enduring deadly snowstorms with at least two people killed due to unsafe road conditions. States in the Central Plains like Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Minnesota are under alerts, ranging from blizzard warnings to winter storm warnings, despite the start of spring last week.

The two deaths were the result of car accidents in Minnesota, where hundreds more crashes and spinouts were reported, according to police. The National Weather Service warns travel in some areas could become nearly impossible as storms move through the region.

Snowfall has been reported from four inches in some states to more than two feet, recorded in New Mexico.

There's a lot of tension, I should say, between the U.S. and Russia on the ground, but it's a different story in space. Astronauts from the U.S., Russia and Belarus arrived at the International Space Station Monday in a Russian spacecraft. NASA says there are now 10 people on the ISS.

American Tracy Dyson will spend the next 10 months there, and another American will return to Earth with the astronauts from Russia and Belarus. Space is one of the last remaining areas where the U.S. and Russia continue to collaborate.

And let's get one more update on our breaking news this hour. A major accident unfolding in the early morning hours today in Baltimore, Maryland. A video obtained by CNN shows a large ship colliding with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse into the water below.


A fire department official says multiple vehicles fell into the water, and rescue crews are searching for up to 20 people. Stay with CNN throughout the day for more on this breaking news story.

Well, thanks so much for your company. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. CNN "THIS MORNING" is up next with much more on this breaking news out of Baltimore and the bridge collapse. Stay with CNN.