Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Collision With Cargo Ship

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, completely collapsed early Tuesday morning after a cargo ship crashed into the structure. Although the precise number of casualties remains unclear, the city’s fire department has described the catastrophe as a “developing mass casualty event.”

The crash occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on March 26, at which time the 948-foot ship struck a column below the bridge, leading the structure to almost instantly collapse and catch fire prior to sinking in the Patapsco River. Ten minutes later, the Baltimore City Fire Department was dispatched to respond to the incident.

Video footage of the crash shows the vessel coming close to the bridge before hitting its column, sending the structure into the water along with several cars that were driving on the bridge at the time of its collapse. The exact number of casualties remains unclear, although at least seven people were thought to be in the water, according to Tuesday morning reports.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said in a press conference hours after the crash that the investigation thus far had not uncovered “any credible evidence of a terrorist attack.” Baltimore Police backed this statement, adding that they had not found any evidence pointing to the crash being anything more than a tragic accident.

According to the Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace, “multiple” cars were making their way across the bridge when it collapsed, one of which was a large vehicle the size of a tractor trailer. He added that two people had been rescued so far, one of whom was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

While the department said in the afternoon that they were searching for “upwards of 7 individuals,” Wallace explained that they “don’t have a number” of people who need to be rescued. The search and rescue and dive teams on site are looking for individuals under and on the surface of the water as well as those who are still on the ship on which the bridge collapsed.

Moore later declared a State of Emergency and said that Maryland leaders “are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration.”

Six construction workers who were filling potholes on the bridge are presumed dead as of Tuesday evening,while two people have been rescued from the water. One was unharmed, while the second person was reportedly rushed to the hospital in serious condition.