Biden pledges to rebuild Baltimore Key Bridge, reopen port

President Joe Biden pledged the federal government's support after a cargo ship rammed the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning outside of Baltimore, causing the span to buckle and plunge into the water below.

Biden spoke from the White House just before 1 p.m. "I've directed my team to move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible," he said.

"Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families, especially those waiting for news of their loved one right now. I know every minute in that circumstance feels like a lifetime. I just don't know. It's just terrible," Biden said.

The President said he would travel to Baltimore as soon as possible. He also said search and rescue efforts should be prioritized. "We're with you, we're going to stay with you, as long as it takes. Like the Governor said, you're Maryland tough, you're Baltimore strong, and we're going to get through this together. And I promise we're not leaving."

Biden said that the federal government would pay for the entire cost of rebuilding the bridge and reopening the port that was forced closed. He said the Army Corps of Engineers was leading the way in clearing debris.

The disaster began around 1:30 a.m. when the container ship Dali  lost power and rammed into one of the bridge's supports. The collapse plunged a construction crew filling potholes on the span and several vehicles into the dangerously cold waters. 

Rescuers were able to quickly pull two people out, but six others were missing.

The ship's crew was able to issue a mayday call moments before the crash took down the bridge, enabling authorities to limit vehicle traffic on the span.

President Biden said he has crossed the bridge numerous times over the decades during trips between Washington, D.C. and his home state of Delaware.  "We’re not leaving until this job is done," he said.

READ MORE: Baltimore Key Bridge collapse live updates