US: Bridge collapses in Baltimore after ship collision

A large chunk of a 1.6-mile-long bridge was seen collapsing into the water. Local media reported a cargo ship collided with a pillar

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses into the water in Baltimore on 26 March (photo: DW)
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses into the water in Baltimore on 26 March (photo: DW)


A portion of the steel arch-shaped Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland collapsed into the water early Tuesday morning after a cargo ship struck it, state authorities reported.

"Key Bridge collapse due to ship strike. Active scene," Maryland Transportation Authority said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

A large vessel crashed into the 1.6-mile (2.57 kilometer) bridge in the early hours of Tuesday, catching fire before sinking.

The collision caused multiple vehicles to fall into the Patapsco River, videos shared on social media showed.

"All lanes closed both directions for incident on I-695 Key Bridge. Traffic is being detoured," the Maryland Transportation Authority said.

The bridge spans a wide part of the river in the southern part of Baltimore.

The mayor of Baltimore said emergency personnel were on scene and rescue efforts were underway.

"Emergency personnel are on scene, and efforts are underway," Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott wrote on X.

Efforts to rescue people believed to be in water

People were possibly in the river after the collapse, a police spokesperson from the Baltimore Police Department told NBC News.

"I can confirm at 1:35 a.m., Baltimore City police were notified of a partial bridge collapse, with workers possibly in the water, at the Francis Scott Key Bridge," Detective Niki Fennoy said in a statement.

Emergency responders were searching for at least seven people believed to be in the water, the Associated Press news agency reported, citing the director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department.

Kevin Cartwright told AP that multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time the vessel struck one of its columns, causing it to collapse.

He described the collapse as a "developing mass casualty event."

"This is a dire emergency," he said.

Ship monitoring website MarineTraffic showed a Singapore-flagged container ship called the Dali stopped under the bridge early Tuesday.

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