Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapses Following Ship Collision

Baltimore bridge collapse

Early Tuesday, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland collapsed when a fully loaded cargo ship leaving the Port of Baltimore struck it. Officials reported that the vessel collided with the bridge’s central column, which carries the north and southbound lanes of Interstate 695, though the exact cause of the accident is still unknown.

The impact caused the bridge to break apart, sending parts of the structure and multiple vehicles into the Patapsco River below. Authorities believe that around seven vehicles, including a tractor-trailer, were on the bridge during the collision, but the precise number is yet to be confirmed as underwater sonar equipment has detected vehicles submerged at 50 feet under the bridge.

So far, rescue teams have rescued only two individuals from the 47-degree Fahrenheit water, one seriously injured. The Baltimore Fire Department’s director of communications referred to the situation as a “developing mass casualty event” but emphasized that the department prioritizes rescue and recovery efforts with support from various agencies.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency and is collaborating with White House officials to expedite federal aid to address the escalating disaster.

Investigations into the bridge collapse are underway by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI Baltimore office. However, FBI officials have stated that there is currently no credible information linking the incident to terrorism.

The cargo ship named “Dali” was chartered by the Danish shipping company Maersk and was leaving the port en route to Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the time of the collision. The vessel’s owner, Synergy Marine Group, confirmed that the ship struck the bridge pillar around 1:30 a.m. with two pilots on board. No injuries were reported among the crew, and all personnel were safe. Maersk crew members were not present during the incident.

As a result of the bridge collapse, the Maryland Transportation Authority closed all interstate traffic lanes on the bridge, redirecting traffic, and the Maryland Port Administration halted vessel traffic through the Port of Baltimore until further notice.

The Key Bridge, named in honor of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” has been a crucial link for the Port of Baltimore since its construction in 1977, serving as a vital connection for East Coast shipping activities.

Legal assistance can be crucial in the aftermath of tragic incidents. If you or a loved one needs legal help, contact LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We can help you seek justice. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or complete our online form for a free consultation.

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