Cargo Ship Hits Major Bridge In Baltimore; Rescues Continue

March 26, 2024

This is a dire emergency.

Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, after a cargo ship crashed into a major bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, around 1:30 am on Tuesday. The bridge immediately snapped and collapsed into the river below.

What To Know: Several vehicles reportedly fell into the water as the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed due to a cargo ship hitting one of the bridge’s supports. Authorities continue to search for survivors, with two people rescued so far. Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul Wiedefeld said a construction crew involving eight people were on the bridge at the time of the crash; six remain unaccounted for. MD Gov. Wes Moore said the bridge was “fully up to code” at the time of the crash.

Gov. Moore said the ship reported it lost power and sent out a “mayday” call before hitting the bridge, which allowed officials to stop some cars from traveling onto the bridge before the crash: “They saved lives …”

President Joe Biden has also been briefed on the crash, and gave remarks regarding the collapse mid-day Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into why a 980+ foot cargo ship (called the Dali) collided with Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, leading to its collapse. The official timeline for the events that transpired early Tuesday morning remains TBD, but we do have a live stream video of the moments before the collision, further raising questions about what happened on the ship before a reported mayday call. The NTSB says they have also heard reports of a power outage or power failure on the ship: “its something we take in but something we have to verify.”

The Francis Scott Key Bridge spans an important opening that connects with the Port of Baltimore, a major shipping hub on the East Coast. The Associated Press reports, “The collapse is not likely to have a big effect on worldwide trade because Baltimore is not a major port for container vessels, but the port’s facilities are more important when it comes to goods such as farm equipment and autos, said Judah Levine, head of research for global freight booking platform Freightos.”

This remains a developing story.

Read More: Cargo ship hits Baltimore’s Key Bridge, bringing it down. Rescuers are looking for people in water (The Associated Press)

Live Updates: Key bridge collapses in Baltimore (The Associated Press)

Here’s what we know about the collapse. (The New York Times)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas