The Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston was temporarily closed last week, as a runaway containership threatened to collide with it just weeks after the Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore.

A little after midday last Wednesday, it became apparent that the vessel ‘MSC Michigan’ was heading towards the bridge at full throttle after it’s crew had lost control of its engines shortly after leaving Charleston port.

Response boats took to the Cooper River to warn boaters and to clear a path for the runaway ship, before the crew managed to navigate through the channel at high speed and pass underneath the bridge safely.

The containership is understood to have experienced a failure of its propulsion control systems while outbound from Charleston, which left its engines locked on full throttle, and was immediately anchored nine miles offshore for inspection.

The incident has raised alarms within the industry, following on closely after the disaster in Baltimore. However, engineers insist that the Charleston bridge could have withstood a ship impact, unlike the Key Bridge.

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