Bridge in Baltimore Collapses Due To Container Ship Collision

A container ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, leading to its collapse and causing several vehicles to plunge into the river below. The incident, described as a “developing mass casualty event,” has sparked a frantic search for survivors amidst the chilly waters of the harbor.

The cause of the cargo ship’s collision with the bridge remains unclear, leaving officials puzzled as to how such a catastrophic event unfolded before the bustling morning commute of the bustling Interstate 695.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott expressed disbelief, describing the collapse as “an unthinkable tragedy” reminiscent of scenes from an action movie.

The collision occurred at approximately 01:30 EST, during a time when traffic on the bridge would have been relatively light. The Francis Scott Key Bridge, spanning a length of 2,632.3 meters (1.6 miles), held significant prominence as the third-longest continuous truss bridge in the world, boasting a main span of 1,200 feet (366 meters).

The vessel struck one of the bridge’s supports, resulting in the structure buckling and tumbling into the water within moments. Videos capturing the dramatic collapse circulated on social media, depicting thick, black smoke billowing from the ship as it suffered what is believed to be a power loss.

As rescue efforts intensified, Fire Chief James Wallace indicated that authorities may be searching for as many as seven individuals, although precise figures remained elusive. Sonar technology detected submerged cars in the water, adding complexity to the rescue operation, which faces the challenge of retrieving victims from depths of approximately 50 feet.

Initial reports from Kevin Cartwright, Director of Communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, revealed that multiple vehicles, including one resembling a tractor-trailer truck, were on the bridge during the collapse. The timing of the incident, occurring during the quieter hours of the night, likely minimized the number of vehicles affected compared to peak traffic hours.

Synergy Marine Group, the owner of the 948-foot container ship named Dali, confirmed the vessel’s collision with the bridge. However, they assured that all crew members, including the two pilots on board, were safe with no reported injuries.

With the dawn revealing the stark remnants of the collapsed bridge protruding from the water’s surface, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld announced the suspension of all vessel traffic to and from the Port of Baltimore. Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency, mobilizing federal resources to assist in the aftermath.

Despite initial concerns, authorities ruled out terrorism as a cause of the incident. President Joe Biden received a briefing on the situation as federal agencies, including the FBI, coordinated their response efforts.

The container ship, en route from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, was chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk, carrying cargo belonging to its customers. Although no Maersk personnel were on board, the company experienced a 2% drop in shares in early trading following news of the collapse.

Information for this briefing was found via AP News and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply