Tuesday, April 23

Search and rescue efforts suspended for 6 construction workers following Baltimore bridge collapse

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 21:02:35 -0400

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The U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland State Police announced they were suspending the search for six construction workers who went missing when the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed into the Patapsco River early Tuesday morning.

During a press conference, officials said they do not believe the six construction workers would be found alive, adding they were suspending search and rescue efforts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Divers are expected to reenter the water after 6 a.m. on Wednesday, officials added.

The cold water temps, low visibility and impending weather conditions all factored into the decision to seize search and rescue operations.

“We’re doing our very best,” Maryland State Police Col. Roland Butler told reporters.

He explained that the last thing he and others want to do is put divers in the water where so much metal and debris from the collapsed bridge now rests.

Butler said all it takes is one object striking one of the divers and creating additional search efforts.

He was asked by reporters about the possibility of vehicles being on the bridge when it collapsed and said, there is a distinct possibility.

While the Maryland Department of Transportation was able to shut down traffic, Butler said, it is possible a car could have been on the bridge, though there is no information at this time to support that scenario.

He also said there is a tremendous amount of debris in the water and containers hanging off the ship. While they do not know where the bodies are, Butler said they are going to give it their best effort to find the bodies to give the families closure.

Wed, 27 Mar 2024 03:19:08 -0400

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District announced it has activated its Emergency Operations Center to allow more than 1,100 engineering, construction, contracting and operations specialists to provide support to local, state and federal agencies after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

USACE said it will lead the effort to clear the federal channel as part of the larger interagency recovery effort. It said it is working with local, state and federal partners to determine the moves required to remove the collapsed bridge.

USACE is providing:

• Certified underwater assessment capabilities by Structural Professional Engineers, Remotely Operated Vehicle and sonar;

• Structural Engineering support, including certified bridge safety inspectors and urban search and rescue structural technical specialists;

• Waterway debris management, led by USACE debris removal vessel REYNOLDS, which patrols the waters of the Baltimore Harbor and Patapsco River for drift and debris that could be hazardous to navigation.

“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” Baltimore District Commander Col. Estee Pinchasin said. “Our Emergency Managers are closely monitoring the incident and coordinating with partner agencies for any potential support requests.”

Wed, 27 Mar 2024 00:26:15 -0400

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis will be lit up in Maryland’s state colors of red, black and yellow as a show of support for Baltimore residents following the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

“Tonight, the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River will be lit red, white, yellow and black—the colors of Maryland’s flag,” the Minnesota Department of Transportation wrote Tuesday night on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Our thoughts are with those injured or still missing, and with the brave first responders following this morning’s bridge tragedy in Baltimore,” the post continued.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 23:10:26 -0400

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed Tuesday morning after a cargo ship crashed into the span. The 1.6-mile bridge carries Interstate 695 in Baltimore, Maryland, and crosses the Patapsco River. The collision was captured on a livestream, with traffic moving along the bridge and construction crews working on the structure.

Here is a timeline of events that occurred on March 26, 2024.

Dali, a large 948-foot-long container ship that would eventually collide with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, left port from Baltimore Harbor. The ship was headed on a month-long voyage to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Minutes before 1:30 a.m., Dali lost power; lights on the vessel flickered as it headed toward a support pillar of the bridge.

Fox News’ Breana Scheckwitz contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 22:05:37 -0400

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Marine Traffic animations show the pathway of the Dali container ship before it collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The animations, which were posted by the Associated Press, first show the Dali leaving the shipping docks before heading toward the bridge and coming to a stop once it reached it.

In the second animation, various rescue boats are seen responding to the Dali after it struck the bridge, causing it to plunge into the river below.

Singapore-based Synergy Marine Group owns and manages the 985-foot-long vessel and confirmed on Tuesday in a statement that the ship hit a pillar under the bridge, which caused the structure to collapse.

All crew members and the two pilots on board were accounted for, though six out of eight construction crew members who were working on the bridge when it fell have still not been found.

On Tuesday night, the Coast Guard called off search efforts, adding the six missing workers are presumed to be dead.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 21:22:12 -0400

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Dispatch audio from emergency responders captured the tense atmosphere after a cargo ship rammed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday, causing it to be completely destroyed.

Operators of the Dali cargo ship had issued a mayday call that the vessel had lost power moments before the crash, but the ship still headed toward the span at “a very, very rapid speed,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

The 985-foot-long vessel struck one of the 1.6-mile long bridge’s supports, causing the span to break and fall into the water within seconds.

An emergency responder could be heard on the dispatch audio mentioning that construction workers had been operating on the bridge during the collapse, and an “unknown amount of those workers [were] in the water.” That prompted a call for a dive team.

Later in the call, another dispatcher says the “main portion” of the bridge had collapsed into the water, causing vehicles to be “plummetted and submerged” in the water. Dispatchers also mention that police have begun stopping vehicles from entering the bridge.

Another dispatcher described it as a “mass casualty” incident.

Click here to read more.

Bradford Betz and Brooke Curto of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 21:16:23 -0400

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President Biden said Tuesday he commuted by train or car over the Francis Scott Key Bridge “many, many times,” despite the bridge not having any rail lines.

During a press conference Tuesday on the major bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, Biden told reporters that he has been over the Francis Scott Key Bridge “many, many times” by train or car.

“At about 1:30 [a.m. Tuesday], a container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which I’ve been over many, many times commuting from the state of Delaware either on a train or by car,” the president said.

Click here to read more.

Sarah Rumpf-Whitten of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:52:22 -0400

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Carnival Cruise Line, which offers voyages out of Baltimore Harbor, said it is temporarily moving the Carnival Legend’s operations to Norfolk, Virginia as rescue and remediation efforts continue following the collapse of the Key Bridge early Tuesday morning.

The vessel is currently on a cruise and is scheduled to return on Sunday.

But rather than go up the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore, it will hang a left before heading up the bay, and cruise into Norfolk. Passengers aboard the ship will be provided with complimentary bus service back to Baltimore after disembarking the ship.

Legend’s next cruise leaves on March 31, when it will embark on a seven-day voyage out of Norfolk, instead of Baltimore. The cruise line said all guests on current and upcoming cruises are being informed of the change.

“Our thoughts remain with the impacted families and first responders in Baltimore,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line said. “We appreciate the pledge made by President Biden today to dedicate all available resources to reopen Baltimore Harbor to marine traffic as soon as possible. As those plans are finalized, we will update our future cruise guests on when we will return home to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we appreciate the quick response and support from officials in Norfolk.”

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 19:12:31 -0400

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A Sparrows Point, Maryland, fisherman told Reuters during an interview on Tuesday morning that it was hard to believe the Francis Scott Key Bridge was gone, adding he thought it was a joke at first.

Capt. Steve Waters of Island Dog Charters is a fisherman out of Sparrows Point, which is on the northern side of the Patapsco River, where the Francis Scott Key Bridge reconnected with land before it collapsed on Tuesday morning.

Waters told Reuters during a video interview that his son was working in the area and sent him a text to see if he heard a noise.

Along with the text, Waters’ son sent him a video of the bridge being hit.

“I thought it was a joke at first because he sometimes comes up with ideas, and I thought it was one of his jokes or something,” Waters said.

He then said it was hard to believe the bridge was gone, especially since it is used so much.

The charter boat captain said it always appeared ships were going to hit the underside of the bridge while cars drove over it, but it was never as close as it looked.

Video taken during the interview shows the aftermath of the crash, which Waters says has the waterways pretty much shut down within a mile of the accident scene.

Still, the bridge is crucial to the area, and now that it is gone, vehicles will either have to go around the Baltimore Beltway or go through the Baltimore Harbor tunnels.

“This is really going to slow things down,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 18:36:42 -0400

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Singapore-based Synergy Marine PTE Ltd, owners of the Dali, issued a statement about the ship’s collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, confirming the safety of its crew and the two pilots, and lack of pollution.

The statement confirmed that the ship was under pilotage with two pilots on board when it crashed into the bridge at about 1:30 a.m. on March 26.

“All crew members, including the two pilots have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries,” the statement read. “There has also been no pollution.”

The company added that the cause of the incident has yet to be determined, and the ship has mobilized its Qualified Individual Incident response service.

“The US Coast Guard and local officials have been notified, and the owners and managers are fully cooperating with Federal and State government agencies under an approved plan,” the company said.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 18:08:41 -0400

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The Maryland Department of Transportation, on Saturday, shared a photo on social media of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in 1977, celebrating the 47th anniversary of the bridge.

“The Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) opened to traffic as the final link in I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway),” the post read. “Shown here during its construction period that began in 1972, the 1.6-mile Key Bridge crosses over the Patapsco River.”

The post continues by noting that scholars believe the bridge crosses within 100 yards of the same location where Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry on Sept. 12, 1814.

Key is credited with writing the words of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Just three days after the picture was posted, a container ship collided with the bridge, causing it to collapse into the river. 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 18:39:03 -0400

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The Dali container ship, which crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday morning, was flagged for two deficiencies between 2015 and 2023, according to inspection records.

Equasis reported that the Dali had 27 recorded inspections from April 20, 2015 and Sept. 13, 2023, during which time there were two deficiencies found.

On Nov. 27, 2016, the records show the ship was flagged for “hull damage impairing seaworthiness,” in Antwerp, Belgium.

Then on June 27, 2023, the ship was flagged for an issue categorized under propulsion and auxiliary machinery, and sub categorized as “gauges, thermometers, etc.”

During two other inspections later that day in San Antonio, Chile, there were no other deficiencies reported.

The most recent inspection conducted on the ship, according to the records, was done by the U.S. Coast Guard in New York on Sept. 13, 2023, when no deficiencies were reported.

Madeleine Rivera of Fox News contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 17:40:30 -0400

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Tuesday morning’s Baltimore bridge collapse caused a transportation disaster and a search and rescue effort for construction workers who were present on the bridge at the time of the container ship’s impact. The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a major transportation connector throughout the Baltimore area, with more than 30,000 vehicles traveling it daily. 

Where is the bridge located in Baltimore?

The bridge crosses the Patapsco River on I-695 and serves the Port of Baltimore. It is located near where Francis Scott Key found inspiration for “The Star-Spangled Banner” national anthem, which is how the bridge aptly received its name.

What type of bridge is the Francis Scott Key Bridge?

The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a steel-truss arch bridge. Truss bridges are constructed with connected triangular structures (trusses). USbridge.com states that this construction has a strong load-bearing capacity.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, this Baltimore bridge is the second-longest truss bridge in the United States and third longest in the world. 

According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was 1.6 miles long before the collapse. It is a four-lane bridge structure. The entire section, along with approach roadways, is 10.9 miles long. 

How old is the bridge?

Construction began on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in 1972. The bridge officially opened in March 1977.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 17:13:43 -0400

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has offered to send a team to help with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday morning.

In a statement, the MPA said it would be sending a team of investigators to Maryland.

In the same statement, the MPA said the management company of the container ship Dali, Synergy Marine PTE Ltd, reported that just before the incident, the vessel experienced a loss of propulsion.

The propulsion loss prevented the crew from maintaining course and it collided with the bridge, the statement explained.

“The vessel was reported to have dropped its anchors as part of the vessel’s emergency procedures prior to its impact with the bridge,” the statement read. “The vessel was under

pilotage at the time of the incident.”

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy told reporters on Tuesday she was in contact with her counterpart at MPA Singapore regarding the bridge crash.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 16:47:49 -0400

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The company that employed the construction crew working on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore when it collapsed early Tuesday morning said all six workers are presumed to be dead, while another was hospitalized, according to reports.

The Associated Press reported that Brawner Builders executive vice president Jeffrey Pritzker said the crew was working in the middle of the bridge’s span when it was struck and fell into the water.

The bodies of six workers have yet to be recovered, though Pritzker said they are presumed to have died due to the depth of the water and amount of time that has passed.

He told the AP the collapse was “completely unforeseen,” and did not know what else to say on the matter.

“We take such great pride in safety, and we have cones and signs and lights and barriers and flaggers,” Pritzker added. “But we never foresaw that the bridge would collapse.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 16:24:05 -0400

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said the area has a long road ahead after the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early Tuesday morning.

Moore was joined by National Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Maryland’s U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and others during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

The governor said he has been in contact with everyone from Biden admin to congressional delegation to philanthropic community which has offered support.

Still, he said the situation at the bridge is still very much a search and rescue mission, adding that the state will not hold back from deploying a single resource to help out with recovery efforts.

Buttigieg referred to the bridge as “one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure, and stressed the importance of reopening Baltimore port as supply chains are expected to be impacted.

“The path to normalcy will not be easy. It will not be quick. It will not be inexpensive,” Buttigieg said. “But, we will rebuild together.”

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 16:22:00 -0400

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse has impacted travel along Interstate 695 in Baltimore, Maryland. The I-695 is a major route in and out of the port city. 

How will the bridge collapse affect traffic?

Following the incident Tuesday morning of the cargo ship collision with the bridge, Maryland transportation officials announced a traffic alert to avoid the I-695. Detours have been implemented for the estimated 31,000 who travel the bridge daily. 

According to Maryland.gov, alternative Harbor Crossings routes include the I-95 and I-895 tunnels. River crossings include the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel on I-95 and the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-895. 

Cruise lines are also searching for alternative routes. No cruise ships were in port Tuesday morning, but the impact on the travel plans of the cruise lines that sail from Baltimore is unclear. Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean utilize the Baltimore port.

How will the bridge collapse affect deliveries?

Certain delivery vehicles, including those transporting hazardous materials and large trucks, are restricted from many detour routes. Tractor-trailers with clearance to use the tunnels will be inspected for hazardous materials, which may cause further delays. According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), vehicles carrying hazardous materials should use the western section of I-695. 

Economic disruptions are expected for the surrounding area and the country. The port is a major route for car shipments, cargo, farm machinery, agricultural products and more.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 16:41:18 -0400

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) head told reporters on Tuesday that before anyone can think about cleaning up the debris from now collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, the focus will be on the families and those impacted by the tragic and devastating event.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy gave reporters an update during a press briefing, though she prefaced the briefing by saying she would not be answering questions on fatalities, deferring those questions to local agencies.

Instead, she said the NTSB will step back to allow the Coast Guard and others involved in search and rescue efforts after the major bridge was struck by a container ship and collapsed at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Homendy said a team of experts will investigate everything leading up to the crash, including nautical operations, vessel operations, safety history, the ships safety record, owner operations, company policy, safety management, human performance, engineering, survival factors and more.

She also said the highway safety team and structural engineers will assist with the investigation.

A family assistance team will be on site to help families, friends and loved ones, of those affected by the collapse.

“This is a team effort,” Homendy said, adding there were a lot of entities in the command post.

As far as the number of cars and workers on the bridge at the time of the collapse, Homendy said that information needs to be verified.

She said she does not believe anyone is thinking about the next steps of cleaning up the bridge and getting the shipping route reopened. Instead, Homendy said, this was about families.

“Nobody is going by a number,” she said. “They are just looking and searching.”

Homendy told reporters she was not aware of the bridge being flagged for safety deficiencies in the past, though the investigation will look into that. She also said, though, that the investigation in the bridge’s history could take at least two years and will not be verified on the scene.

Still, Homendy said there was not a lot of information to provide at the time of the presser, as she and her team only just got there.

“Really, the focus is on the families,” she said.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 14:35:47 -0400

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The FBI said on Tuesday that there is no specific and credible information suggesting the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore overnight was tied to terrorism.

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

The container ship Dali issued a mayday after losing power, before colliding with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Authorities have said a crew of eight construction workers were on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

Search and Rescue efforts are underway, as rescuer scramble to find multiple people who remain missing.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 14:36:51 -0400

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Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was gone in a flash early Tuesday after a cargo ship collided with one of its pillars, snapping the structure into pieces and sending it tumbling into the water below.

As rescuers scramble to find multiple people who remain missing and as the details remain unclear, experts weigh what could have possibly caused the catastrophe. One structural engineer – John Pistorino – says he’s “surprised” the ship was able to take down the structure at all.

“At this point, I’m surprised that a container ship like that, which is so large, would be able to [take it down] even if it’s off course,” he said on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.

“Back over in Tampa, we do have some means underwater now, so if the ship does get out of its own direction, it will divert it away from the critical parts of the bridge. There’s underwater structures that the ship would come across before it actually got to the bridge itself,” he continued, referencing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that saw a similar disaster in the Tampa Bay area decades ago.

Continuing on that note, Pistorino outlined the need for “redundancy” in bridge construction. 

Redundancy, according to the American Institute of Steel Construction, is “the quality of a bridge that enables it to perform its design function in a damaged state” and is considered a “desired characteristic of good design.”

Pistorino said the quality is something faulty bridges have lacked in the past.

“If we lose the critical part of one column, the structure itself tries to redistribute the load and then goes to the other column, which is apparently then overloaded… That’s the nature of the structures,” he explained.

“It could be a money thing, but I think, really, that the design of the redundancy would be something that should always be considered.”

Fox News Digital’s Taylor Penley contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:11:47 -0400

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President Biden on Tuesday said the federal government will step in to “rebuild” the Port of Baltimore after a cargo ship accident caused the Francis Scott Key Bridge to collapse. 

In brief remarks at the White House, the president said he pledged “all the federal resources they need” to Gov. Wes Moore and other Maryland officials to recover from the disaster. 

“Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families, especially those waiting for news of their loved one right now. I know every minute in that circumstance feels like a lifetime. I just don’t know. It’s just terrible,” Biden said.

The president said an ongoing search and rescue operation remains the government’s “top priority.” He noted that ship traffic in the port has been suspended and cannot resume until bridge debris is cleared — an effort led by the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Biden called the Port of Baltimore “one of the nation’s largest shipping hubs,” noting that about 850,000 vehicles travel through the port every year. “15,000 jobs depend on that port. We’re going to do everything we can to protect those jobs and help those workers,” Biden said.

Asked if Synergy Marine Group, the company that manages the ship, called the Dali, should be held liable for the damage, Biden said it “could be.” 

“But we’re not going to wait for that to happen,” the president said. “We’re going to pay for it and get the bridge rebuilt and open.” 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:28:37 -0400

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Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl de Sousa warned of incalculable “collateral damage” from the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster on “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday.

The bridge collapsed after a cargo ship rammed into one of its support piers. De Sousa noted that as many as 35,000 people used the bridge on a daily basis, not to mention ships that pass under it to access the port in Baltimore Harbor.

“It’s just going to cause so much collateral damage, you know, for the shipping industry,” de Sousa said. “The damage is — you can’t even calculate right now.” 

Maryland officials said the bridge collapse will create a transportation nightmare for months, if not years, along the East Coast. Ship traffic at the Port of Baltimore has been disrupted, not to mention cargo and commuter traffic around the city.

“Losing this bridge will devastate the entire area, as well as the entire East Coast,” state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling told the Associated Press.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 11:58:45 -0400

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The tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 in Maryland into the Baltimore harbor following a “ship strike” early Tuesday morning is expected to cause major economic disruptions to the area and across the country. 

The port, a major route for shipping containers and cruise liners, is the deepest harbor in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, closer to the Midwest than other East Coast ports, with five public and 12 private terminals, according to the Maryland government website. 

The I-695 is also a critical link for trucking and motor vehicles linking Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York and the disaster comes ahead of the upcoming Easter Weekend.

The port is the busiest in the U.S. for car shipments, handling more than 750,000 vehicles in 2023, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration. It is also the largest U.S. port by volume for handling farm and construction machinery, as well as agricultural products.

It handled a record amount of cargo last year, making it the 20th biggest port in the nation ranked by total tons, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Chloe Demrovsky, the executive in residence in global economy at New York University, tells Fox News Digital that the port has grown significantly over the last 25 years and the bridge collapse is going to have a devastating impact on the area. 

“Since the widening of deepening of the Panama Canal in 2016, it just became that much more important and capable of docking some of those really large container ships coming out of Asia that could now come through the Panama Canal and go to Baltimore,” Demrovsky said.

“And from there they can connect with the important trucking routes to service not just the whole country, but in particular the very busy eastern corridor. So it became a really strategically important area for moving a lot of units.”

FOX Business’ Michael Dorgan contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 12:50:21 -0400

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early Tuesday, sending rescue workers into a frenzy to find anyone who may have fallen into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River.

The Baltimore Ravens released a statement, sending out their condolences to anyone who was affected by the shocking collapse.

“Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by the horrific Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse early this morning,” the team said in a statement posted to X.

“We are grateful for the first responders and local leaders who are on scene to lead the search and rescue efforts and to support those families who have been most directly impacted.

“We know that the Baltimore community will stand together in the aftermath of this tragic event.”

A livestream of the bridge appeared to show a cargo ship colliding with a support beam, causing the bridge to break apart and fall into the Patapsco River. Officials said several people were missing and multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time it fell.

The water below the bridge is about 50 feet deep, and the water temperature was about 47 degrees during the pre-dawn collapse.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore told reporters the crew on the ship sent a mayday signal moments before impact with the bridge. Moore said the warning gave authorities enough time to stop additional traffic from crossing the bridge, saving lives.

Fox News Digital’s Ryan Gaydos contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 11:26:27 -0400

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge’s collapse was all but inevitable once a cargo ship rammed into one of the bridge’s main supports, according to one expert.

Shocking video shows the moment the bridge appears to snap and fall apart into the Patapsco River. Maryland officials have said there was no structural issues and that the bridge was fully up to code. 

“Part of the problem was this was a massive tanker ship. It was not only carrying a very heavy load, but it was also not just wide, it was tall as well. So it was almost the height of the bridge,” said Dr. Ron Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at University of New Haven. 

Harichandran, a civil engineer, told Fox News Digital the cargo ship destroyed one of the concrete piers that supported the bridge, sealing its fate.

“If it had not directly hit that and if it had hit between the piers, the bridge may not have completely collapsed because bridges are designed to have some redundancy. But if you hit one of its main support structures, then it’s very difficult for it to survive,” he explained. 

Modern designs have a sort of “bumper system” around the pier intended to absorb a potential impact, according to Harichandran.

“But again, you know, those can withstand limited amounts of impact, but it’s something so massive in terms of cargo vessel. Nothing could be designed to withstand something as large as that.” 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:12:18 -0400

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The crew of the cargo ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore lost power and issued a mayday in the moments before the disaster, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

The container ship Dali sent the mayday in time for authorities to stop traffic from entering the bridge, limiting the number of vehicles involved in what officials have called a “mass casualty event.” 

“We’re thankful that between the mayday and the collapse that we had officials who were able to begin to stop the flow of traffic so more cars were not on the bridge,” Moore said. 

Authorities said a crew of eight construction workers were on the bridge, in addition to any traffic at the time of the collapse. 

Search and rescue operations pulled two workers from the water, one in critical condition who was hospitalized. Efforts to locate the other six are ongoing.

Authorities said that sonar had detected cars in the water, which is about 50 feet deep. The temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit before dawn on Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Moore said an investigation is ongoing to determine how many people were caught in the collapse and plunged into the river. 

“But the thing we do know is that many of the vehicles were stopped before they got onto the bridge, which saved lives in a very, very heroic way.” 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:13:36 -0400

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Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told reporters he spoke to the Department of Transportation and that the Biden administration will commit emergency funding for the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster.

Van Hollen said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the department “will do everything they can to very quickly release emergency funds for this important project.”

“Our hearts go out to all those who are on the bridge and their loved ones. We pray for them. Our gratitude goes out to the first responders who, as we speak, are continuing to conduct search and rescue operations,” Van Hollen said. 

The National Highway Transportation Administration administrator will travel to Baltimore to oversee release of those funds, according to the senator. 

Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation into the bridge collapse.

Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers and its naval assets will assist with below the surface clearing of Baltimore Harbor, Van Hollen said. 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:28:15 -0400

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Top Maryland officials provided an update on the investigation and rescue efforts after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore on Tuesday

Democratic Gov. Wes Moore, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and state law enforcement and transportation officials spoke to reporters about the status of search and rescue efforts and the investigation after a cargo ship struck the bridge, causing it to plummet into Baltimore Harbor.

“Our response teams are doing everything in our power to rescue and recover the victims of this collapse,” Moore said. 

“The preliminary investigation points to an accident,” he said.

Eight workers contracted with the Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary to fix potholes on the bridge were working at the time of its collapse, according to DOT Secretary Paul Wiedefeld. Two of them were pulled from the water, one in critical condition who has been hospitalized. The other is not in the hospital. 

Six workers remain unaccounted for and are being searched for, Wiedefeld said.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:14:26 -0400

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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in response to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

The mayor’s declaration took effect at 9:00 a.m. ET and will unlock additional powers to respond to the crisis.

“Baltimore, I am officially declaring a local state of emergency in response to the collapse of our Key Bridge,” Scott said in a statement. “Our teams are mobilizing resources and working swiftly to address this crisis and ensure the safety and well-being of our community.”

Officials will soon deliver an update on search and rescue efforts in Baltimore Harbor.

A container ship struck one of the bridge’s supports in the early morning on Tuesday, causing the bridge to snap and plunge into the Patapsco River. Several vehicles and workers were on the bridge at the time of its collapse. 

The U.S. Coast Guard and several law enforcement agencies are participating in search and rescue operations. Two people were pulled from the water, one in critical condition, officials said. 

Fire Chief James Wallace said authorities “may be looking for upwards of seven people” but said that number could change and other officials wouldn’t give figures. It was not clear if the two rescued were included in the seven cited by the fire chief.

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 09:49:20 -0400

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Congress could be asked to approve emergency supplemental money to deal with the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster in Baltimore.

Let history be our guide. 

In 2007, the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota in collapsed under its own weight. The catastrophe killed 13 persons and hurt 145. President George W. Bush authorized a disaster declaration. That enabled FEMA to begin to cover the millions of dollars in cost incurred daily dealing with the aftermath of the bridge. 

A few days later, the President authorization an emergency declaration for Minnesota. That allowed the state to recover costs from the federal government and begin to remove debris from the scene. This is is kind of what FEMA does in the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane. So, based on the previous model, expect FEMA to play a major role in this. 

The late Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) was chairman of the House Transportation at the Committee at the time. Although the bridge was not in Oberstar’s district, he was able to muscle through an emergency appropriation of $250 million to the state department of transportation to begin rebuilding the bridge.

The new I-35W bridge opened a little more than a year after the collapse.

Considering the amount of trade which funnels through the Port of Baltimore – to say nothing of traffic and commerce which moves across the Francis Scott Key Bridge as a major east coast artery – it is possible Congress could be called upon to provide funding to rebuild the bridge in record time. 

Fox has spoken with Congressional leaders and aides about the possibility of Congressional action. Granted, it is very early in the aftermath. Lawmakers are contemplating what they may need to do. But Fox is told the model could be how Congress responded to the I-35W bridge disaster 17 years ago

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:30:00 -0400

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Maryland state Senator Johnny Salling said the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is a “devastating” blow to Baltimore County. 

Salling, a Republican whose district contains the bridge, told “Fox & Friends” the port of Baltimore depends on transportation that has been disrupted since by the collapse.

“We have truck, rail, barge and ship that come in here, constantly. And now the Patapsco River, as you see, is an asset to us and losing this bridge is going to be devastating to, not just the port, but the Delmarva area,” Salling said. 

Salling said this “catastrophic event” will “change the whole area of Baltimore.” 

He called on federal, state and local authorities to partner together to restore access to the port and prevent a similar incident in the future. 

“It breaks my heart. I think about all those that are affected and that will be affected by this. You think about the vehicles that were going across there, the workers that were working on there. The people that depend upon it, and you think about the families. My heart and my prayers go out to these families,” Salling said. 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:20:11 -0400

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The massive container ship that smashed into a high-traffic bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, this morning has previously collided with infrastructure while docking, according to reports.

Container ship Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning, collapsing a portion of the bridge and resulting in what authorities suspect is a mass casualty event.

According to previous reports, this is not the first time Dali has struck city infrastructure while transporting goods — a similar but far less serious incident was reported in 2016, according to contemporaneous reports.

Dali collided with a stone wall at a dock in Antwerp, Belgium, in the afternoon of July 11, 2016, according to a Maritime News report.

The container ship suffered damage and was docked for repairs, but no one was injured in the collision, according to The New York Times.

The Tuesday incident was far more deadly, according to officials coordinating disaster response.

Fox Business’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 08:53:42 -0400

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse caused major traffic disruptions and forced detours into and out of Baltimore Tuesday morning.

The bridge carried traffic along I-695 across the Patapsco River and outer Baltimore Harbor and at 1.6 miles was the second longest bridge in the Baltimore metropolitan area, after the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. 

The Maryland Transportation Authority said alternate routes to cross the harbor will be I-95 or I-895 tunnels. Vehicles transporting hazardous materials, like large quantities of propane, are prohibited in tunnels and should use the western section of I-695, the authority said. 

Residents were instructed to avoid the entire I-695 southeast corridor as rescue operations are underway at the bridge.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said all vessel traffic into and out of the port would be suspended until further notice, though the facility was still open to trucks.

Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency and said he was working to get federal resources deployed. The FBI was on the scene, but Wiedefeld said terrorism was not suspected. President Biden was briefed.

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 08:36:41 -0400

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said his state “stands ready to assist and support our neighbor Maryland” after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed Tuesday morning.

“Our prayers are with the families affected and the courageous rescue efforts underway following the tragic incident at Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge,” Youngkin posted on X.

The bridge along I-695 collapsed into the Baltimore harbor early Tuesday morning after a “ship strike,” Maryland officials said. The cargo ship that hit the bridge appears to be the Dali, a Singapore-flagged container ship. 

The ship is managed by the Synergy Group, a Singapore-based company.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said he has declared a State of Emergency and has been in contact with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott, the Baltimore Fire Department and other officials following the tragedy.

“I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration,” Moore said.

He added, “We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.”

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:31:14 -0400

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Former Navy SEAL rescue diver Jake Zweig joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning to discuss the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse as search and rescue operations are underway in Baltimore, Maryland.

Two people were rescued from the water, one in critical condition, according to officials. Zweig said the big question facing U.S. Coast Guard personnel and other first responders is whether anyone could survive for several hours after their cars plummeted into Baltimore Harbor. 

“I’m going to be honest with you, there’s not a lot of hope in my mind at this point. It’s a recovery operation,” Zweig said.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said authorities “may be looking for upwards of seven people” but said that number could change and other officials wouldn’t give figures. It was not clear if the two rescued were included in the seven cited by the fire chief.

Authorities said a crew of unknown size was working on the bridge at the time of the collapse and that sonar had detected cars in the water, which is about 50 feet deep. The water temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit  before dawn Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 08:05:42 -0400

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Candidates running for U.S. Senate in Maryland gave statements of support to first responders working at the scene of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore on Tuesday.

“We are heartbroken by the tragedy at the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan posted on X. “Yumi and I are praying for those missing and their loved ones, and ask all Marylanders to keep them in your thoughts.” 

“We are incredibly grateful for the first responders and rescue teams working to save lives,” added Hogan.

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Rep. David Trone, D-Md., one of the two major Democrats running for their party’s Senate nomination in the May 14 primary, also issued a statement calling it a “devastating tragedy.” 

“Our hearts go out to those who were on the bridge at the time of collapse and their families,” Trone said. “We are grateful to the incredible emergency responders who are fighting valiantly to rescue survivors.”

“Baltimore is a city known for its resilience, and we must all now rally around Baltimore as the city begins to heal, rebuild and move forward,” Trone continued. 

“I’m grateful for Governor Moore’s leadership and will work closely with my colleagues in Congress and across Maryland to show up for Baltimore and our state in any way possible.”

Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:14:57 -0400

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State contractors working for the Maryland Department of Transportation were on the Francis Scott Key Bridge at the time of its collapse, Maryland officials said Tuesday.

“We know there were individuals on the bridge at the time of the collapse working on the bridge, contractors for us,” said Paul Wiedefeld, secretary for the Maryland Department of Transportation. The workers were doing concrete duct repair, he said. 

The bridge collapsed into Baltimore Harbor early Tuesday morning after a cargo ship struck one of its support beams. Rescue and recovery operations are underway, with officials searching for “upwards of seven people,” according to Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace. 

Two people have been pulled out of the water, one in critical condition, Wallace said earlier.

The U.S. Coast Guard is on the scene conducting rescue operations with several law enforcement agencies. 

“The Coast Guard’s primary mission right now is search and rescue, looking for any survivors in the water,” said Lt. Commander Erin Palmer. 

Palmer said the Coast Guard has three small boats and an 87-foot patrol boat, Mako, at the scene. There is also a helicopter from air station Atlantic City assisting federal, state and local partners on scene with search and rescue operations, Palmer said. 

A facility with mental health professionals has been set up for family members, Wiedefeld said. 

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 07:30:05 -0400

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FBI Baltimore personnel are on the scene and assisting with first responders at the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday.

The FBI investigated if there was any terrorism connection to the disaster, which there is not, Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul Wiedefeld told reporters at a press conference.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in rescue operations for what officials have called a “mass casualty event” after a cargo ship struck a support beam under the bridge, causing it to collapse. There were multiple vehicles on the bridge.

“Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said, calling it an “unthinkable tragedy.” 

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace told reporters that two people were pulled from the bridge, one in serious condition. He said authorities “may be looking for upwards of seven people,” but that number could change. 

Sonar has indicated that there are vehicles in the water, where the temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit in the early hours of Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Earlier, Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press that several vehicles were on the bridge at the time, including one the size of a tractor-trailer truck.

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:17:33 -0400

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The White House is closely monitoring the collision of a shipping vessel with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore that caused the bridge to collapse, an official told Fox News Digital.

The White House official said there is no indication of any nefarious threat involved in the disaster. 

“Our hearts go out to the families of those who remain missing as a result of this horrific incident,” the official said.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting with search and rescue operations for those who remain unaccounted for in the disaster, according to the White House.

Senior White House officials are in touch with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott to offer any federal assistance they may need, the official said.

First responders have pulled two people out of the water so far, one in critical condition. Officials have described the collapse as a “mass casualty event” and rescue operations are continuing. 

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland is located about 50 miles north east of Washington, D.C., along I-695. 

Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:17:58 -0400

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First responders were able to pull two people from the water after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in Maryland Tuesday morning.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace told reporters one was in serious condition and the other was not seriously injured. 

Wallace said authorities “may be looking for upwards of seven people” but he said that number could change.

The bridge collapsed after a cargo ship appeared to crash into one of the supports, according to a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. The ship caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed out of it.

Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, described the disaster as a “dire emergency.” He told the Associated Press it was too early to say how many people were affected but called the collapse a “developing mass casualty event.” 

Wallace said there are multiple air assets, the Baltimore Police Department, and multiple marine assets responding to the scene to conduct rescue operations. 

“We are still very much in active search and rescue at this point,” Wallace said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 06:32:39 -0400

The water temperature was in the low 40s Tuesday morning when the Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 in Maryland collapsed into the Baltimore Harbor after a cargo ship struck it. 

Rescue efforts remain underway for at least 20 people believed to be in the water, the Baltimore Fire Department told the Associated Press at around 3:00 a.m. ET. Officials have described the bridge collapse as a mass casualty event. There is no official death toll known at this time. 

A person exposed to cold water temperatures for a prolonged period of time risks suffering from hypothermia. When the water temperature is between 40-50 degrees, exhaustion or unconsciousness can happen within 30-60 minutes. The expected survival time for someone exposed to those conditions is between one to three hours. 

“Our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people,” Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press. 

Fox News’ Janice Dean and the Associated Press contributed to this update.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 05:55:07 -0400

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said he has declared a State of Emergency and has been in contact with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott, the Baltimore Fire Department and other officials after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in the state when a ship collided into it Tuesday morning.

“My office is in close communication with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and the Baltimore Fire Department as emergency personnel are on the scene following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” Moore said in a statement.

“I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration,” he continued.

Moore added, “We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.”

“We will remain in close contact with federal, state, and local entities that are carrying out rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy,” he said.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 05:45:23 -0400

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The ship that hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland, causing a collapse, appears to be the Dali, a Singapore-flagged container ship.

The ship is managed by the Synergy Group, a Singapore-based company.

Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 05:36:21 -0400

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he is offering support from the department after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed Tuesday morning due to a ship colliding with it.

Buttigieg said he spoke with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott about the incident.

“I’ve spoken with Gov. Moore and Mayor Scott to offer USDOT’s support following the vessel strike and collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge,” he wrote on X. “Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response.”

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 05:31:06 -0400

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The Maryland Transportation Authority said on social media that all lanes have been closed in both directions and that traffic is being detoured after the Key Bridge collapsed due to a “ship strike.”

MDTA said to avoid the I-695 southeast corridor and to instead Use I-95 or I-895.

It also said alternate routes for Harbor Crossings will be on I-95 or I-895 tunnels. Vehicles transporting hazardous materials, including propane of more than 10 pounds, are prohibited in tunnels and should use the western section of I-695 around tunnels.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 05:20:12 -0400

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Baltimore mayor Brandon M. Scott said Tuesday morning he was headed to the Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 in Maryland after it collapsed into the Baltimore harbor.

The mayor said he has been in contact with Gov. Wes Moore and officials with the fire department and other agencies.

Officials have described this as a mass casualty event after a ship collided with the bridge.

Tue, 26 Mar 2024 20:15:36 -0400

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 in Maryland collapsed into the Baltimore harbor early Tuesday morning following a “ship strike,” Maryland transportation officials said.

A livestream of the bridge appeared to show a cargo ship colliding with a support beam, causing the bridge to break and fall into the Patapsco River. Multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time.

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Emergency crews were searching for at least seven people believed to be in the water, Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press around 3 a.m. Officials have described this as a mass casualty event. There were no specific number of deceased. 

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