Human World

Major bridge collapse in Baltimore, 6 presumed dead

Collapsed bridge pieces lying on top of a ship stacked with containers.
View of pieces of the Francis Scott Key bridge lying across the container ship Dali following yesterday’s catastrophic collapse of the bridge. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will lead the effort to clear the channel as part of the larger interagency recovery effort to restore operations at the Port of Baltimore. Image via Wikipedia/ David Adams/ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Major bridge collapse in Baltimore

Early Tuesday, March 26, 2024, the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship, crippled by a power loss, struck it. The container ship lost power as it cruised through the channel leading from Baltimore to the ocean. Thick smoke poured from the ship moments before it struck the bridge, which immediately crumpled and collapsed, carrying cars and construction workers into the icy water below.

Many tales of heroism and quick thinking emerged from this incident. A mayday call was made ahead of the collapse, which enabled workers to stop cars from continuing onto the bridge. That rapid response saved lives, according to Maryland Governor Wes Moore, who commented:

These people are heroes.

But, as darkness fell yesterday evening and dive teams faced increasingly treacherous conditions – some 18 hours after the bridge collapsed – active search-and-rescue operations were suspended. Recovery operations are beginning again as of this morning.

As of last night, six people are presumed dead, according to Reuters.

What happened?

The best explanation we saw of the events leading up to the bridge collapse came from the YouTube channel What is Going on With Shipping? It was touching to hear from someone who loves and knows ships and shipping about the events leading up to the bridge strike. His explanation – which has now been viewed on YouTube nearly 3 million times – provided a lot of insight into exactly what happened in the minutes leading up to the incident:

More images and video

First, this video shows just the collapse of the bridge, which begins on either side of the support where the ship impacted. It then cascades to the other end of the bridge.

Subsequently, here’s a view of the ship and collapsed bridge in the morning’s light.

A tragedy in Baltimore

The Key Bridge is a part of the Baltimore Beltway, which is also labeled Interstate 695. Officials said the ship is named Dali and was on its way from Baltimore to Sri Lanka.

The incident was declared a mass casualty event. According to WBAL TV‘s updated report:

  • Officials confirmed six people who are missing after the collapse are presumed dead
  • Two people were initially rescued. One declined treatment and another was taken to, and subsequently discharged from, Shock Trauma
  • Preliminary investigation shows this was not intentional
  • Gov. Wes Moore said the crew on the ship notified authorities that they had lost power
  • Moore said between a Mayday call and the collapse, officials stopped the flow of traffic so that more cars were not on the bridge, potentially saving lives
  • Baltimore Beltway/I-695 is closed from Glen Burnie to Dundalk

Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore prior to collapse

Bridge collapse: Long bridge with many tall pylons going off into the distance, in twilight, with seaport cranes in distance.
The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore before its collapse on March 26, 2024. The 4-lane bridge was 1.6 miles (2.6 km) long. Image via Patorjk/ Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Bottom line: There was a bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, yesterday, and rescue operations have been suspended. A container ship struck one of the bridge supports. All six missing people are presumed dead.

Join our community of passionate astronomy enthusiasts and help us continue to bring you the latest astronomy news and insights. Your donation makes it all possible.

Via The Associated Press


March 27, 2024
Human World

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

Kelly Kizer Whitt

View All