Cargo ship collapses major bridge in Maryland

BALTIMORE, MD – In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a dramatic incident unfolded in the Baltimore harbor when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the icy Patapsco River. The collapse occurred after a cargo ship struck the bridge along I-695 in Maryland, prompting an extensive search and rescue operation for those who fell into the freezing waters.

A livestream captured the moment when the cargo ship collided with a support beam of the bridge around 1:30 a.m., causing the structure to disintegrate and plummet into the river. Several vehicles were on the bridge at the time, but the current status of the occupants remains undisclosed.

Paul Wiedefeld, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, reported that eight construction workers, who were performing routine maintenance on the bridge, fell into the water. Six of these workers are still missing, while two have been rescued, one of whom is currently hospitalized.

The exact number of vehicles that fell into the water and the condition of their occupants remain unknown as authorities continue their search and rescue efforts. The U.S. Coast Guard is actively involved in the operation, searching for possible survivors in the water.

The water beneath the bridge, which is approximately 50 feet deep, was around 47 degrees at the time of the collapse. The FBI is investigating the cause of the collision and has dismissed any links to terrorism.

According to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, the ship’s crew had reported a power issue before the collision. This early warning allowed authorities to restrict water and vehicle traffic around the bridge.

Emergency crews, including the U.S. Coast Guard, local first responders, and the FBI, are searching for potential survivors. Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, described the incident as a mass casualty event.

The cargo ship involved in the incident is the Dali, a Singapore-flagged container ship. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore confirmed that there were 22 crew members onboard at the time of the incident, all of whom are accounted for and uninjured.

The Synergy Group, the Singapore-based company that manages the Dali, reported no pollution from the incident. Footage suggests a power failure may have caused the collision, as the large vessel appeared to catch fire before becoming disabled.

The Maryland Transportation Authority has closed all lanes in both directions and is diverting traffic. The Francis Scott Key Bridge, named after the author of the American National Anthem, opened in 1977.