Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Container Ship Strikes Support Column

Francis Scott Key Bridge
Screengrab from YouTube video posted by News4JAX The Local Station

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore early on March 26, 2024, after colliding with a container ship, plunging automobiles and possibly as many as 20 people into the Patapsco River beneath. It was an extremely tragic event.

The collision happened around 1:30 a.m. local time, and emergency crews received numerous 911 calls reporting the disaster. The Baltimore City Fire Department’s director of communications, Kevin Cartwright, called the incident potentially a “mass casualty” incident.

Search and rescue teams and divers quickly assembled to search the icy Patapsco River for survivors. Among them were people who may have been in numerous cars, including a tractor-trailer, that may have fallen into the river.

The Maryland Transportation Authority had to redirect traffic to other routes after the incident prompted a shutdown of all lanes on the 1.6-mile Francis Scott Key Bridge.

A significant section of the bridge collapsed into the river below because the container ship hit one of the support columns, as seen in the terrifying moment of impact captured on camera.


Video Credits: News4JAX The Local Station/YouTube

As the bridge collapsed, plumes of fire and smoke shot skyward, and black smoke blew into the sky for several minutes. Mayor Brandon Scott stated that emergency workers were actively responding on the scene.

The Key Bridge, an important part of Baltimore’s transportation network, spans the Patapsco River and provides a crucial link for Interstate 695, sometimes known as the Baltimore Beltway.

The bridge, named for Francis Scott Key, is historically significant since it is close to where Key was inspired to write the “Star Spangled Banner” in 1814 after seeing the attack of Fort McHenry.

According to information gathered from ship tracking data, the Singapore-flagged container ship Dali was involved in the incident. It is owned and controlled by Synergy Marine Group and operated by Grace Ocean Pte Ltd.

According to Synergy Marine Corp., all crew members, including the pilots, had been safely accounted for, and no injuries had been recorded.

Authorities have not yet explained the occurrence, so it is unclear how it would affect operations at the Baltimore port, which handles a substantial amount of freight and automobiles.

The impact of the bridge collapse is expected to take many days to manage as officials organize a multi-agency response to address the incident’s complexity and consequences for public safety and transportation infrastructure.

Reference: Reuters, CNN

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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