Baltimore Key Bridge Collapses After Container Ship Slams Into It, Motorists Missing

Rescue crews continue to search the waters around the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge following a ship strike that caused the span over the Patapsco River to collapse.

Officials believe multiple people were on the bridge when it was struck by a large container ship just after 1:30 a.m.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (D) described the scene as something out of a movie.

“This is a tragedy that you could never imagine,” Scott said during a morning news conference. “Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie.”

The strike caused most of the bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River.

Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace told reporters that at least two people were rescued from the chilly waters that lead to the port.

One individual refused treatment. A second was transported “to a local trauma center” and is in “very serious condition.”

“We are still very much in an active search and rescue posture at this point,” Wallace said. “We will continue to be for some time. We have a large area that we have to search. This includes the surface of the water, subsurface, as well as the deck of the ship itself.”

Wallace said rescue crews “may be looking for upwards of seven people” but stressed that information could change.

Gov. Wes Moore (D), who traveled to Boston Monday night for an event Tuesday, has returned to the state. He is expected to speak to reporters at a news conference scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

The governor has already declared a state of emergency and in a statement said state officials are “working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he offered federal support to Baltimore authorities.

Due to the collapse, all traffic is rerouted north to the Harbor and Fort McHenry Tunnels.

The bridge, along Interstate 695 in Baltimore County, opened on March 23, 1977.

Reports came in around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday that a large vessel crashed into a column in the central part of the bridge, catching on fire before causing multiple vehicles to fall into the Patapsco River below.

At least seven vehicles, including at least one tractor-trailer-sized vehicle, fell into the water, Baltimore City Fire spokesperson Kevin Cartwright told WTOP. Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said during a news conference shortly after 7 a.m. that road workers were also on the bridge at the time of the collision.

Rescuers were searching for at least seven people in the water.

Petty officer Matthew West from the Coast Guard in Baltimore told WTOP that a container ship flying under a Singapore flag crashed into the bridge. The vessel, called “Dali,” was headed through Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, as its final destination, according to Marine Traffic and Vessel Finder maps and data.

Moore declared a state of emergency overnight, and said that his office is working with the Biden administration to quickly deploy federal resources.

“We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety,” Moore said in a statement released at 5:45 a.m.

State Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County), whose district includes the area around the bridge, said in a statement he was “devastated” by the disaster.

“Having worked in that area most of my life, I understand the bridge’s vital role for Baltimore’s Port and commuters,” he said. “Losing this bridge will devastate the entire area, as well as the entire East Coast. We depend on the Port of Baltimore for transportation, travel, and commerce.”

This breaking news story will be updated.

Maryland Matters’  news partner WTOP contributed to this report.

About J. Williams

Check Also

President Donald Trump

Trump’s Repeated Escapes From Political Damage To Be Tested In NYC Trial

Jacob Fischler, Michigan Advance Donald Trump on Monday in a New York City courtroom will …

Leave a Reply