Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Being Hit by Ship

March 26, 2024
Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace said approximately 20 people and multiple cars were likely to have fallen in the river

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed into the Patapsco River after being hit by a large containership, sending vehicles and at least 20 people into the water, including six construction workers. Police are treating this as a mass-casualty incident, according to Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace.

Wallace said the bridge was struck by a box ship at around 1:30 a.m. 

“We are still very much in an active search and rescue posture at this point and will continue to be for some time,” Wallace said.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning.

“We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety,” he said in a statement.

Two people had been pulled from the water, according to the Baltimore fire department. One was treated for serious injuries. Multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the collapse. Authorities were using sonar and infrared technology to determine how many cars were in the water.

The Maryland Transportation Authority issued a traffic advisory asking motorists to use Interstate 95 and Interstate 895 as alternate travel routes.

I-695’s outer loop is closed at Maryland Route 10 (exit 2), and the inner loop is closed at Maryland Route 157/Peninsula Expressway (exit 43), the authority said shortly before 7 a.m.

Lanes headed to the Key Bridge were closed in both directions, and authorities were rerouting traffic after the collision.

The bridge is the entryway to the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. Some 800,000 vehicles passed through the port in 2023.

According to Coast Guard officials, the collapse will have ripple effects on the port’s operations that could last for months.

The Singaporean containership, called the Dali, was on its way to Sri Lanka when it struck the bridge. It remains stuck under the bridge with all crew still on board.

The main span of the bridge was built in 1977, and is roughly 1,200 feet, making it one of the longest continuous trusses in the world, according to the State of Maryland website.

The bridge itself spans a total of 1.6 miles, but the overall structure covers approximately 11 miles.


Source: The Wall Street Journal

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