Tragedy Strikes as Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses in Baltimore

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Massive Emergency Response as Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses in Baltimore

In a shocking turn of events early Tuesday, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, a vital link for East Coast shipping, collapsed after being struck by a large cargo ship. The incident triggered a massive emergency response as at least seven individuals were reported in the water.

Details of the Incident:
James Wallace, the chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, revealed that the bridge collapsed around 1:30 a.m. following the vessel's impact. Several vehicles on the bridge at the time plunged into the Patapsco River.

Two individuals were rescued from the water, with one escaping unharmed and the other remaining in "very serious condition." Despite reports of at least seven people in the water, uncertainty persists about whether this count includes the two rescued individuals.

Source: Twitter/Action News on 6abc 

Response Efforts and Search Operation:
Local, state, and federal agencies are coordinating efforts in a large-scale search operation. Divers, helicopters, and sonar technology are deployed to scour the area, both above and below the water's surface, and inspect the ship. Multiple submerged vehicles have been identified in the river. However, rescuers are unable to board the ship as its crew awaits damage assessment.

Maryland Governor's Declaration:
Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency and initiated collaboration with an interagency team to mobilize federal resources promptly from the Biden Administration.

Mayor's Reflection:
Expressing his dismay, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott termed the incident an "unimaginable tragedy" during a press briefing.

Insight into the Bridge Collapse

Ship Involvement
Ship tracking data from LSEG indicates that the Singapore-flagged container ship Dali was present at the accident location. According to Reuters, the vessel is registered to Grace Ocean Pte Ltd., managed by Synergy Marine Group. Synergy Marine Corp confirmed that the Dali collided with one of the bridge's pillars, assuring that all crew members, including two pilots, were unharmed.

Traffic Disruption: The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announced the closure of all lanes in both directions on I-695 Key Bridge, diverting traffic.

Importance of the Francis Scott Key Bridge

Structural Details: The Francis Scott Key Bridge, named after the author of the "Star Spangled Banner," spans 1.6 miles with four lanes and crosses over the Patapsco River. Constructed as a steel-arched bridge, it stands as the outermost of three primary Patapsco River crossings at Baltimore Harbor. Initially built in 1977, it held the title of the second-longest continuous-truss bridge span globally.

Economic Significance: The bridge's collapse disrupts critical East Coast shipping routes, impacting the transportation of goods and commodities. In 2023, the port terminals handled 847,158 autos and light trucks, making it the highest number handled by any U.S. port. The port facilitates the transportation of various commodities, including farm and construction machinery, sugar, gypsum, and coal.


The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has resulted in a catastrophic event, prompting a swift response from authorities. As rescue efforts continue and investigations unfold, the importance of this crucial East Coast infrastructure remains paramount, underlining the significance of ensuring its structural integrity and the safety of maritime operations.

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