Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapses

Struck by freighter, many are missing

By Dave Ryan
Posted 3/26/24

ANNAPOLIS — The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed at 1:27 a.m. this morning, after being struck by a freighter. Early reports say many cars and about 20 construction workers went into the …

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Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapses

Struck by freighter, many are missing

Posted

ANNAPOLIS — The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed at 1:27 a.m. this morning, after being struck by a freighter. Early reports say many cars and about 20 construction workers went into the water.

The 1,200-foot bridge carried traffic on MD 695 over the mouth of the Patapsco River at the entrance to the Inner Harbor. The Singapore-flagged container ship Dali is reported to have hit one of the span’s support pillars.

Governor Wes Moore released the following statement on the collapse:

“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. 

“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. 

“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.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is assisting the Maryland Transportation Authority with traffic control related to the collapse of the I-695 bridge over the Patapsco River (Frances Scott Key Bridge). Drivers are encouraged to prepare for extra commuting time until further notice.

The outer loop I-695 is closed at MD 10 (Arundel Expressway) and the inner loop of I-695 is closed at MD 157 (Peninsula Expressway). Additionally, the ramp from MD 157 to the inner loop of I-695 will be closed.

Drivers should use I-95 (Fort McHenry Tunnel) or I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel) for north/south routes. Commercial vehicles carrying materials that are prohibited in the tunnel crossings, including recreation vehicles carrying propane, should plan on using I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) between Essex and Glen Burnie. This will add significant driving time, a statement from the Highway Administration said.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge:

“The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge this morning is a horrific tragedy. I’m thankful for U.S. Coast Guard, Baltimore City Fire Department and all the first responders who are on the scene. We hope that casualties can be minimized as first responders urgently work on rescue and recovery efforts. Our prayers are with them and the families of all those affected by the accident.

“I’ve talked with President Joe Biden and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who both assured me that they will make every federal resource available. The Coast Guard is actively participating in the search and rescue. I am also in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers, who are working to get the channel open as quickly as possible. Local officials are working with federal officials to do everything we can to rapidly react to this tragedy.

“Our first priority is rescue. Next will be determining the most effective way to clear the channel reopen the Port of Baltimore, which is critically important to our commerce. At every stage, I’ll be working with Mayor Scott and Governor Moore and all of Team Maryland to make federal resources available to reopen the Port of Baltimore, redirect critical road traffic, and rebuild the Key Bridge as quickly as possible.”

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