Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapses After Cargo Ship Hits Support Pillar

NBC News

A catastrophic incident unfolded as a cargo ship lost power and collided with a support pillar of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in its collapse.

Authorities report at least six individuals are missing, with eight workers repairing potholes on the bridge falling into the Patapsco River. Amidst a rescue operation, two were successfully saved while the search continues for the remaining missing persons.

For live updates from NBC News, visit here.

State Of Emergency Declared

Following the collapse of the bridge, Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Maryland Mayor Brandon Scott declared a state of emergency, attributing the incident to an accident and reassuring the public that there is no credible evidence of a terrorist attack.

Federal Support And Commitment

President Biden expressed his intention to travel to Baltimore “as quickly as I can,” emphasizing the federal government’s commitment to funding the reconstruction of the bridge.

“This is going to take some time,” Biden warned. “The people of Baltimore can count on us though to stick with them, at every step of the way, till the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt.”

He underscored the significance of the Port of Baltimore, which sustains 15,000 jobs and halted vessel traffic following the collapse.

The 1.6-mile bridge, named after the poet of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” serves as a crucial link in East Coast shipping and serves as the gateway to the largest port in the U.S. for specialized cargo such as trucks, tractors, and trailers.

Timeline Of The Incident

Dramatic footage captured the moment at 1:28 a.m. on Tuesday when the ship collided with a support, causing the bridge to collapse into the water.

Watch the terrifying incident below, captured by onlookers.


Cargo ship collapses Francis Scott Key Bridge My buddy and I were at fort armistead park as we look towards the bridge and see what I thought was cargo falling off the ship, unfortunately it was much more than that. I already had my phone out so I started recording almost instantly. Sadly there was also active construction happening on the bridge, along with vehicles passing through. My heart goes out to the families of the people we lost tonight. #keybridge

♬ original sound – toby_jg02

A livestream depicted cars and trucks on the bridge just moments before the impact. Despite the collision, the ship remained afloat with its lights still illuminated.

The crash caused several vehicles to plummet into the dark waters below, sparking a frantic search for survivors and prompting the closure of one of the nation’s busiest ports.

Governor Moore disclosed that the cargo ship, Dali, notified authorities of a power loss and issued a mayday just moments before the 984-foot vessel collided with the bridge support at a speed of eight knots, equivalent to approximately nine miles per hour.

Simultaneously, rescue teams utilizing sonar technology identified at least five vehicles submerged in the chilly 50-foot-deep waters, comprising three passenger cars, a cement truck, and another unidentified vehicle, as reported by Moore.

Ship path of Key bridge collision.
Jiachuan Wu and Nigel Chiwaya / NBC News

Details From The Investigation

According to investigators’ timeline, the Dali experienced a sudden blackout four minutes prior, followed by a restoration of lights. At 1:25 a.m., dark black smoke began emanating from the ship’s chimney. One minute later, at 1:26 a.m., the ship seemed to change course. In the final moments leading up to the collision, the ship’s lights flickered intermittently before ultimately striking the support.

Dispatch audio below captures the moments immediately following the collapse of the Key Bridge.

Support From FBI Baltimore

The FBI Baltimore has joined efforts and reaffirmed their commitment to assisting local, state, and federal partners in response to the incident. Special Agent in Charge William J. DelBagno has been dispatched to the unified command post.

Expressing condolences, he stated, “Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy, especially to the victims and their families. On behalf of the FBI, I would like to say we are with you and with the families involved.”

Mayor Brandon M. Scott is encouraging individuals to seek support, acknowledging the collective effort to come to terms with the collapse of the Key Bridge.

“Today’s tragedy at the Key Bridge is distressing for all of us. If you feel anxious, sad, or just need to talk it through with someone, call or text 988. It’s free and counselors are available 24/7.”

In the face of this tragedy, the community stands united in support, coming together to navigate the aftermath. Our thoughts and prayers are with Baltimore.

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