Coast Guard Suspends Search for 6 Missing, Presumed Dead After Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Epoch Times Staff
By Epoch Times Staff
March 26, 2024US News
The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, collapsed overnight. Search and rescue operations are still underway for people who fell into the water.

A massive cargo ship lost power and struck a major bridge in Baltimore in the early hours of March 26, causing it to collapse and hurtling as many as 12 vehicles and 20 people into the frigid water. Follow here for the live updates:

6 Unaccounted for Presumed Dead: Coast Guard

By Nathan Worcester

The six construction workers unaccounted for after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge are presumed dead, according to a Coast Guard official.

Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said that due to the amount of time since the collapse and the water temperatures “we do not believe that we are going to find any of these individuals still alive.”

The Coast Guard is also suspending its search and rescue operation, he said.

A cargo ship rammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge after losing power at around 1:30 a.m. ET.

Unnamed Pilot Tried Slowing Down Vessel Before Collision

By Nathan Worcester

Cory Diamond of the American Pilots Association, a trade association, said the pilot at the helm of Dali container ship attempted to slow it down prior to its early morning collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Mr. Diamond said he had gleaned the information through his contacts at the Association of Maryland Pilots.

Mr. Diamond related that such pilots assume “navigational control” of foreign-flagged ships before entering local waterways. Synergy Marine, the operator of the ship, has said two local pilots were in control of the ship at the time of the crash.

“Each ship engaged in foreign trade coming to Maryland ports is required to take on a local ship handling specialist, known as the Pilot, to navigate the vessel safely into port,” the website for that association states.

“These are among the most highly trained mariners in the world,” Mr. Diamond said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the organization seeking the name of that Maryland pilot. In addition, The Epoch Times has reached out to the American Pilots Association.

According to Mr. Diamond, the ship lost all power a few minutes out, at which point the pilot ordered the rudder hard to port to keep the ship from turning right and ordered the port anchor be dropped, which it was. The pilot also contacted a dispatch office to get the bridge shut down.

Mr. Diamond said widely circulated images show the ship’s lights turning off and then back on, sparking questions about whether the vessel had regained power. But, he said, the emergency generators that kicked in turned the lights back on but not the ship’s propulsion.

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting.

NTSB Launches Investigation

By Lawrence Wilson

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation into the ship crash that caused the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy announced the investigation from Baltimore some 13 hours after the incident occurred at 1:28 a.m. ET.

The 24-member investigation team began to collect information today, including data on the vessel’s operations, safety history, safety record, and operator.

“We have a human performance expert here. We have an engineering team. We have survival factors. And then we have a team here that is getting the recorders,” she said, referring to voice and data recorders aboard the ship.

Stressing that the investigation was in its early stages, Ms. Homendy declined to theorize on the causes of the crash.

“The NTSB doesn’t speculate. We provide facts. And so there isn’t a lot we can share right now because the focus has been on the people [affected].” ,” Ms. Homendy said. She added that transparency is a core mandate of the NTSB and she would provide information as soon as possible.

A planning meeting to determine the next steps in the investigation was scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.

The investigation will include the bridge’s construction and safety features as well as the ship and its operation.

“We are aware of what a structure should have. Part of our investigation will be how this bridge was constructed [and] should there be any sort of safety improvements. All that will be part of our investigation,” Ms. Homendy said.

Safety investigations can be lengthy. Ms. Homendy noted that the inquiry into the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh, which occurred in January 2022, took nearly two years to complete.

“Right now it’s about people. It’s about families, and addressing the needs of those that were impacted,” Ms. Homendy said.

Car Prices Expected to Rise After Bridge Collapse

By Emel Akan

The bridge collapse in the port of Baltimore has the potential to create a domino effect in the U.S. auto industry, resulting in inventory shortages and price increases.

According to Michel Leonard, chief economist and data scientist at the Insurance Information Institute, the car sector will see a disruption similar to that seen during the pandemic, albeit on a smaller scale.

According to his prediction, there will be a period when prices for new cars will go up, although the increase is not expected to be significant.

“Consumers will experience that within a few weeks,” he said.

The impact will likely become apparent in the inflation report for April or May, he added.

However, the duration of the disruption remains uncertain, Mr. Leonard said.

“We don’t know how long the bridge will be down and we don’t know how long shipping will be disrupted.”

The port of Baltimore is the busiest American port for car shipments. The port handled over 847,000 cars and light trucks last year.

It is a crucial hub for imports and exports of several leading brands, such as General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

Prices for new cars tend to fluctuate less than those for used cars, according to Mr. Leonard.

“What consumers need to be aware of is that it could take them longer to get cars, and how long that will take depends on the bridge,” he said.

Engineering Expert: Bridge Collapse Was About the Ship, Not the Bridge’s Structure

By Jackson Richman

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was a reflection of the commercial vessel that bumped into it, not the condition of the bridge itself, the founding director of the University of Southern California Transportation Engineering Program, James Moore, told The Epoch Times.

The boat experienced a loss of power as it headed toward the bridge. The crew issued a mayday call, causing officials to stop motorists from getting onto the bridge and therefore saving lives.

The bridge was in acceptable condition, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

A daily average of almost 33,000 cars use the 47-year-old bridge, according to the FHA.

Vehicular traffic creates wear and tear on the bridge, said Mr. Moore, but that was not connected to the ship hit that caused the bridge to collapse, he said.

However, Mr. Moore said the 1.6-mile bridge was not “structurally deficient, which is a state determined by combining loads and with observed structural conditions,” and that the bridge’s conditions did not contribute to its collapse.

“It is the result of being rammed by a fully loaded post-panamax container ship almost 1000 feet long,” he said.

Mr. Moore recommended that the bridge’s replacement be an underground tunnel as “it’s hard to hit a tunnel” and that “given that it’s in the middle of a ship channel.”

However, he added, that would take longer to build than a new bridge.

Nonetheless, there will not be a quick rebuild of the bridge, declared Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“This is no ordinary bridge. This is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure,” he told members of the press. “It has been part of the skyline for this region for longer than many of us have been alive.”

Federal, State Officials Stress Long Road to Recovery After Bridge Catastrophe

By Lawrence Wilson

Some 12 hours after a ship strike sent the center spans of the 1.6-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge tumbling into Baltimore’s Patapsco River, state and federal leaders warned that rebuilding the critical motorway will be a long process.

“This is no ordinary bridge. This is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters in Baltimore on the afternoon of March 26. “It has been part of the skyline for this region for longer than many of us have been alive.”

Mr. Buttigieg thanked first responders and offered condolences to those “who woke up today to the news that no one wants to receive.”

“This is an excruciating day for several families,” he said.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said, “There’ll be a long road as we talk about what does the future of this region, the future of the area look like?”

“And we’re going to need each and every one of you,” Mr. Moore added, referring to the residents of Maryland who had supported the rescue efforts of first responders throughout the day.

The governor said he had spent time with the families of victims. “The strength of these families is absolutely remarkable,” he said.

Mr. Moore stressed that first responders were still engaged in a rescue effort, despite the passage of many hours since the ship strike sent an unknown number of people, estimated at as many as 20, into the 47-degree water at 1:29 a.m.

“This is very much still a search and rescue mission,” Mr. Moore said. “We are still actively looking for survivors. That’s a pledge we made to these families.”

The Associated Press Contributed to the report.

Campers and Hazardous Tankers Face Major Detour Without Bridge

By Beth Brelje

The Francis Scott Key, I-695 bridge was the safety route for commercial vehicles carrying explosive materials, and recreation vehicles carrying propane, which are prohibited in tunnel crossings.

These drivers should plan to use I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) between Essex and Glen Burnie. This will add significant driving time, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) State Highway Administration advises.

Drivers without tunnel restrictions should use I-95 (Fort McHenry Tunnel) or I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel) for north/south routes.

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 Maryland 157 to the inner loop of I-695 will be closed.

Drivers are encouraged to prepare for extra commuting time until further notice, MDOT said in a statement.

MDOT manages Maryland bridges and roads.

The Maryland Transportation Authority manages toll bridges including the collapsed Francis Scott Key, I-695 bridge.

Patient Discharged After Bridge Rescue, Others Still Missing

By Lawrence Wilson

A patient who had been treated at the R Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore following the partial collapse of a bridge that was rammed by a cargo ship has been released, a hospital spokesperson told The Epoch Times.

No further information was available from the hospital.

Early on March 26, rescuers had pulled two survivors from the water following the collapse of the center sections of the Francis Scott Key Bridge spanning the Patapsco River. The collapse occurred after a supporting pillar of the bridge was rammed by a 984-foot vessel carrying more than 4,000 shipping containers.

One of the survivors refused medical treatment. The other was hospitalized.

Rescuers have employed sonar and underwater drones to search for up to 20 people who may have fallen from the bridge and up to a dozen vehicles. No further rescues or recoveries have yet been reported.

Drones have revealed “an abundance of twisted metal and debris” on the site, according to Angela Alsobrooks, executive of Prince George’s County, Maryland. The tangle of debris has made it unsafe for divers to enter the water, Ms. Alsobrooks wrote on X.

Among the missing are six construction workers employed by Brawner Builders.

A coworker of the missing laborers told the Associated Press the workers were on a break around the time of the collision, 1:28 a.m.

Jesus Campos, an employee at Brawner Builders said: “When he told me that, they came to mind and I was praying to God that nothing had happened to them,” speaking in Spanish.

“It is so hard for me to describe. I know that a month ago I was there, and I know what it feels like when the trailers pass. Imagine knowing that it is falling. It is so hard, one would not know what to do,” Mr. Campos added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Here’s What We Know

By Lawrence Wilson, Jackson Richman

A massive cargo ship lost power and struck a major bridge in Baltimore in the early hours of March 26, causing it to collapse and hurtling as many as 12 vehicles and 20 people into the frigid water.

At least two survivors have been rescued. One refused medical treatment and the other was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

Rescuers are searching for at least six more missing.

The crew of the Dali, a 985-foot-long ship, issued a mayday call moments before the crash, allowing authorities to stop traffic on the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The ship barrelled toward the bridge at “a very, very rapid speed,” said Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, striking one of the bridge’s supports at around 1:30 am ET, causing the structure to collapse within seconds.

Initial findings show the incident was an accident, said Mr. Moore, with no credible evidence that it was a terrorist attack.

The Dali was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and flying under a Singapore flag, according to data from Marine Traffic. Inspectors found a problem with the Dali’s machinery in June, but a more recent examination didn’t identify any deficiencies, according to the shipping information system Equasis.

All 22 crew members were accounted for and unharmed, along with two local pilots, according to a statement from Synergy Marine, which operates the ship.

Mr. Moore declared a state of emergency for Maryland.

Shipping in and out of the Port of Baltimore was suspended after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The port and bridge’s closure is expected to disrupt U.S. supply chains.

President Joe Biden said the federal government would foot the costs of the bridge’s reconstruction.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, part of the part of Interstate 695, a key route in Maryland, is named after the person behind America’s national anthem. Built in 1977, it carries more than 30,000 cars per day, according to the state government.

The Associated Press contributed.

Singapore’s Maritime Port Authority Offering to Help Coast Guard

By Jackson Richman

The U.S. Embassy in Singapore has been in touch with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, which has offered to give assistance to the U.S. Coast Guard in the aftermath of the bridge collapse in Baltimore, said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller in response to a question from The Epoch Times.

The commercial vessel that crashed into the bridge, causing it to collapse, had a Singaporean flag.

Mr. Miller said the State Department is not aware of any U.S. contacts with Sri Lanka, where the boat was headed.

Questions Remain About Baltimore Bridge Collapse

By Chase Smith

As the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore still rests in the Patapsco River after being struck by a container ship on the morning of March 26 and suffering a catastrophic collapse, curiosity continues to build as to what caused the incident.

Experts tell The Epoch Times that although the steel-arched bridge was nearly 50 years old, it would have likely collapsed whether it was new or old because the ship took out the main support columns.

Maryland officials said Tuesday morning that the bridge was fully up to code and was not on any of the state’s lists for bridges in poor condition at the time of the incident, which was caught on video and shared widely across all media platforms.

The investigation continues as to what caused the freighter to veer off course and hit the bridge.

Read full story here

Biden Says Government Will Pay For Bridge Reconstruction

By Emel Akan

President Joe Biden said the federal government would fund the bridge reconstruction costs.

“It’s my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge, and I expect Congress to support my effort,” he said in a speech from the White House.

“It’s gonna take some time and people of Baltimore can count on us to stick with them at every step of the way.”

Every day, more than 30,000 vehicles pass the bridge, Biden said, stressing its significance to the Northeast’s economy and quality of life.

He also said the ship traffic and the Port of Baltimore have been suspended until further notice. The ship traffic will resume after the channel is cleared, he added.

President Biden emphasized the importance of the port to the nation’s economy as a major import and export hub for autos. He said around 850,000 vehicles go through the port every year, affecting nearly 15,000 jobs.

“I’m directing my team to move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as possible,” Biden said.

Maersk Reroutes Shipping Around Port of Baltimore

By Lawrence Wilson

Shipping giant Maersk has temporarily suspended cargo shipping into the Port of Baltimore and rerouted ship traffic currently en route to that destination.

The move came 12 hours after the DANSI, a 984-foot container ship carrying Maersk cargo struck Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge resulting in a partial collapse of the structure.

The Department of Transportation Port Administration has temporarily halted shipping to and from the port.

The DALI is owned by Grace Ocean Pte Ltd. and operated by Synergy Group.

Maersk informed customers that the Port of Baltimore would be omitted “on all our services for the foreseeable future.”

Ships en route will be diverted to “nearby ports,” the company said.

Other ports on the Eastern seaboard are New York and New Jersey, which process more than 5 million containers per year; Savannah, Georgia, which handles some 3.6 million containers; Virginia, which handles 2.6 million containers annually; and Charleston, South Carolina, with just under 2 million containers.

The Port of Baltimore handled 1.1 million containers in 2023, a record number.

Denmark-based Maersk deploys more than 700 container vessels, operating in 130 countries with more than 100,000 employees, according to the company website. The company described itself as accounting for 17 percent of global shipping in 2021.

Modern container ships can carry up to 24,000 container equivalents. The DALI has a capacity of 10,000 container equivalents and carried 4,679 at the time of the collision.

Vessel Out of Shipping Channel

By Beth Brelje

A tugboat operator on the water woke Robert Newberry with a call in the middle of the night.

“He said, ‘Man, you won’t believe what just happened! This ship just hit the Key Bridge and it’s in the water.’

“He was probably bringing a barge under the bridge and passing, about 10 minutes away, or coming into port,” Mr. Newberry told The Epoch Times.

Mr. Newberry is chairman of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, a marine officer with a 100-ton Master’s License, and a fixture on the Chesapeake Bay.

He says it is likely the ship’s pilot knew well before impact that it was going to hit the bridge. A ship that big and heavy, moving at four knots can take a half mile to stop, he said.

“He knew he was in bad trouble at least 15 to 20 minutes before he hit the bridge. You’ve got satellite tracking and all that on the ship,” Mr. Newberry said.

The pilot called a mayday and that is why the Coast Guard was there immediately. Mr. Newberry pieced together information from observations and his shipping knowledge.

Ships come into the harbor bow first and tie up to the dock.

“When they leave, they are shoved off the dock, they make a U-turn and come back out the harbor. They always make a U- turn,” Mr. Newberry said.

“He had had problems turning around. He knew what was going on …

“You can see the lights going off because they had a major shutdown. They had to restart. That’s why you see all that black smoke.

“He was probably backing down on it as hard as he could. Or, it could have been a transmission problem.”

From the video, it appeared to Mr. Newberry that the ship was too far south in the channel, or possibly out of the channel of traffic.

“The channel is right dead in the middle of the bridge. He was coming, if you look underneath the bridge, he was coming from the south side of that bridge. His angle of approach was insufficient to clear the bridge.”

Biden Says Federal Resources Available

By Emel Akan

President Joe Biden issued a statement about the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore for the first time.

The White House announced that the president will also deliver remarks about the tragic incident at 12:30 p.m.

“This morning, I convened senior members of my team for a briefing on the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge,” Mr. Biden said on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

“I’ve directed my administration to ensure every federal resource is available to assist search and rescue efforts and response to this terrible incident.”

The president is scheduled to travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, this afternoon to deliver remarks about his healthcare policy and attend a campaign reception.

He is planning to leave the White House following his address regarding the Baltimore incident.

“The president will continue to receive updates from his team throughout the day. White House and administration officials will remain in close contact with state and local officials,” the White House said in a statement.

Baltimore’s Sports Team React to Tragedy

By Jackson Richman

Baltimore’s National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) teams reacted to the collapse of the bridge.

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

“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,” continued the NFL team.

“We are devastated by the news of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, and send our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by this tragedy. We thank the brave first responders and the men and women actively working on rescue efforts,” said the Baltimore Orioles in a statement.

“Baltimore, we’re a tight-knit and resilient city,” continued the baseball team. “Together we will get through this.”

Baltimore Mayor Issues Local State of Emergency Declaration

By Jackson Richman

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott issued an executive order, declaring a local state of emergency for 30 days.

Members of Maryland Congressional Delegation React

By Jackson Richman

In addition to Democrat Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, other members of Maryland’s congressional delegation reacted to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Maryland.

“The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse is an unthinkable horror. We are all trying to respond accordingly. I’ve spoken directly with Secretary Buttigieg and the White House. They are responding with all of the assets at their disposal,” posted Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), whose district consists of almost all of Baltimore, on X, previously Twitter.

“Special thanks to the first responders on the scene and praying for everyone affected. To all travelers in the area, follow local travel guidance and stay safe,” posted Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) on X.

“Deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of everyone affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. I’m profoundly thankful to first responders on the scene and will track rescue efforts by local, state and federal authorities,” posted Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on X.

“Represented the Key Bridge for more than two decades in Congress – the footage is devastating. I am praying for those impacted + our brave first responders in #Baltimore. The federal delegation stands ready to support. I’m told @SecretaryPete @USDOTFHWA + @NTSB will be on site,” posted Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) on X.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the office of Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), the only member of the delegation who has not yet weighed in on the tragedy, for comment.

Several Companies Are Involved in the Incident

By Beth Brelje

Maersk is a Danish shipping and logistics company that chartered

Maersk, the company that chartered the container vessel ”DALI”. The vessel is owned by the Singapore-based Grace Ocean and operated by Synergy Group, a ship manager company with a base in Singapore.

Add to that the companies that hired Maersk to transport goods in shipping containers stacked on its deck.

Due to the damage to the bridge and resulting debris, it will not be possible to reach the Helen Delich Bentley port of Baltimore for the time being, Maersk said in a statement to shipping customers. In line with this, the company is omitting Baltimore on all services for the foreseeable future, until it is deemed safe to pass through this area.

For cargo already on water, Maersk will discharge cargo set for Baltimore, in nearby ports. From these ports, it will be possible to use land transportation to reach the final destination instead.

Cargo headed to Baltimore will likely be delayed

“We are deeply concerned by this incident and are closely monitoring the situation,” the Maersk statement said.

Cruise Ship Activity Likely to be Affected

By Beth Brelje

Vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice. This does not mean the Port of Baltimore is shut down. The Department of Transportation Port Administration says it is still processing trucks inside its terminals.

In addition to cargo ships, Baltimore is a popular port for large cruise ships and the industry is watching.

Cruise ship activity at the Port of Baltimore, based on 2024 published itineraries, includes 12 ships making a total of 115 ship calls during calendar year 2024. It is the 29th largest cruise port in the United States with 378,000 passenger movements scheduled through the port. Any adjustments to current cruise activity at the port will be announced as soon as available by the individual cruise lines.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy and collapse of the Key Bridge that occurred last night and extend our support and heartfelt prayers to all those impacted,” Macinzie McFarland, spokesperson for the Cruise Lines International Association told The Epoch Times in a statement.

“We join everyone in extending our thanks and appreciation to the first responders and emergency workers in Baltimore, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other professionals who are working with one goal in mind—to save lives. We are closely following this situation. Right now, the most important thing to do is to allow the emergency workers to do their work.”

Matt Lupoli, spokesman for Carnival Cruise Line told The Epoch Times the company’s thoughts are with those affected by this tragic accident. He said it is premature to comment on possible impacts to upcoming sailings.

Royal Caribbean also cruises from this port.

Mayday Call From Ship May Have Saved Lives

By Jackson Richman

A mayday call from the commercial vessel may have saved lives, according to Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

The call prompted officials to slow traffic to the bridge he said.

“These people are heroes,” he said. “They saved lives last night.”

Witness Describes Bridge Incident

By Lawrence Wilson, Madalina Vasiliu

A Baltimore man was awakened by a family member who heard what he initially thought was a bomb explosion at around 1:30 a.m. on March 26. The sound was the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which spans the lower Patapsco River and outer Baltimore Harbor, carrying traffic along Interstate 695 in Baltimore.

Two sections of the 1.6-mile bridge crumpled into the river along with approximately seven vehicles and as many as 20 people after being struck by a container ship, DALI.

The man, identifying himself as Chris, who had traveled the route daily as a commuter speculated that traffic could be disrupted for years as the bridge is rebuilt.

Maryland Senator: Federal Funds Coming For Bridge

By Jackson Richman

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said that the Department of Transportation will allocate emergency funding to repair the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Mr. Van Hollen said that acting National Highway Transportation Administration Administrator Sophie Shulman is on her way to Baltimore.

He said that she and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg “will be releasing those early funds once all the parties are fully engaged.”

Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board “will be conducting an investigation of what happened” in addition to the Army Corps of Engineers “naval assets working below the surface and clearing all of this.”

Maryland Governor: We’ll Come Back Stronger

By Jackson Richman

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore offered heartfelt thoughts in the aftermath of the bridge tragedy.

He said Maryland will “come back stronger” and to “pray for Baltimore.”

Mr. Moore also thanked first responders and offered words of hope to the people of Maryland.

“I recognize that many of us are hurting right now,” he said. “I recognize that many of us are scared right now.”

Mr. Moore said that the investigation is ongoing, but “the preliminary investigation points to an accident. We haven’t seen any credible evidence of a terrorist attack.”

He expressed solidarity with the construction workers and motorists directly affected by the collapse.

“We will get through this because that is the Maryland spirit,” he said.

“We are Maryland tough,” he added. “And we are Baltimore strong.”

Mr. Moore noted that the bridge slowed down traffic toward the bridge thanks to a mayday call from the vessel and who could have saved lives.

Sen. Van Hollen Responds Several Hours After Bridge Collapse

By Jackson Richman

Hours after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) issued a statement about the tragedy.

“Awful, horrific news in Baltimore this AM. I’m praying for those who were on the bridge & thankful for emergency crews responding to this disaster,” he posted on X, previously Twitter, at 8:26 a.m. ET – about four hours later than Maryland’s other Democrat senator, Ben Cardin, posted his reactions to the incident.

In a full statement, Mr. Van Hollen said that he is “heading to Baltimore now and am closely monitoring the situation” and keeping in touch with leading officials including Gov. Wes Moore.

Maersk Issues Statement on Bridge Collision

By Lawrence Wilson

Rescuers pulled two survivors from the Patapsco River after portions of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed at 1:28 a.m.

The bridge was struck by the container ship DALI, which had been chartered by the shipping company Maersk. “We are horrified by what has happened in Baltimore, and our thoughts are with all of those affected,” Maersk told The Epoch Times

At least seven vehicles cascaded into the water, according to Baltimore officials.

Kevin Cartwright of the Baltimore City Fire Department said some 20 people have been thrown into the river along with “numerous vehicles, and possibly a tractor-trailer or a vehicle as large as a tractor-trailer, (that) went into the river.”

“This is a mass-casualty, multi-agency event,” Mr. Cartwright said. “This operation is going to extend for many days.”

The Epoch Times requested further comment from MAERSK.

Reuters contributed to this report.

White House Aware of Bridge Collapse

By Jackson Richman

President Joe Biden “has been briefed on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and the ongoing search and rescue efforts,” according to the White House.

The president, continued the White House, “will continue to receive updates from his team throughout the day.”

The president, along with Vice President Harris, is scheduled to head to North Carolina to campaign as the Tar Heel State will be a crucial state in the election.

Container Ship Lost Propulsion Before Crash: Report

By Lawrence Wilson

The container ship DALI is owned by a Singapore-based group, Grace Ocean Pte Ltd, which is in turn owned by a group based in Hong Kong and was carrying cargo on behalf of the Danish shipping company Maersk.

Synergy Marine, which operates the ship, reported that it was under the control of two local pilots when it struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge at 1:28 a.m. However, the ship “lost propulsion” as it was leaving port, and the crew notified Maryland officials they were no longer in control of the vessel according to an ABC News report, which cited an unclassified U.S. intelligence report.

Synergy Marine reported that the 22 crew members aboard, all Indian, and two local pilots were accounted for with no injuries.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Coast Guard on Scene

By Beth Brelje

The U.S. Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast urging mariners to avoid the area. There has been a 2000-yard safety zone issued for the surrounding waters.

The Coast Guard has sent the Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and Coast Guard investigators and pollution responders to the incident.

Vessel That Hit Bridge Involved in Prior Collision

By Jackson Richman

This is not the first time the Singaporean-flagged Dali, owned by Grace Ocean Investment, has had an incident.

In 2016, the container ship, now nine years old, hit a wall at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium as it was doing “unmooring maneuvers for leaving the port … in good weather and was caused by mistake of the master and pilot on board” as the cargo ship “had substantial stern momentum, which caused allision with the stone wall of the quay.”

What We Know About the Bridge

By Jackson Richman

The Francis Scott Key Bridge—named after the person behind America’s national anthem—was built in 1977.

Its 47th anniversary was just three days ago. It was built in Baltimore over the Patapsco River.

On average, 31,000 cars drove on the bridge daily, or 11.3 million annually.

The Maryland Transportation Authority manages the 1.6-mile bridge.

People from the cargo ship that hit the bridge are safe, according to Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott.

Listen to the 911 call here.

Lights Out on Ship Prior to Bridge Collapse

By Lawrence Wilson

The lights on the container ship that rammed the bridge support, causing it to collapse, appeared to go out approximately 67 seconds before the vessel made contact with the bridge, a livestream of Baltimore Harbor shows.

A spray of water or debris is visible as the ship reaches the point where four supporting pillars from the bridge meet the water. The two bridge sections to the right and left of the pillar collapse immediately, striking the bow of the ship and cascading what appear to be three or four emergency vehicles into the water. A further section to the right collapses as well, leaving a second supporting pillar in place.

The collapse took about five seconds.

Baltimore Mayor to News Outlets: Stop Showing Video of Bridge Collapse

By Jackson Richman

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling into CNN, said that the media should stop showing video of the bridge collapse.

“I’m going to be the first to ask that CNN and everyone else stop showing the video,” he said. “No one needs to see a possibility of their family members and severely injured otherwise over and over and over again because it’s just traumatizing our community.”

All of those on the shipping vessel are safe, said Mr. Scott.

Additionally, he said, the collapse of the 1.6-mile bridge is “just something that’s very surreal.

Primary Mission: Search and Rescue

By Jackson Richman

The primary mission following the collapse of the bridge is searching for and rescuing people, said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld.

There are no fatalities that have been confirmed and the FBI is investigating if the collapse was an act of terrorism. Mr. Wiedefeld said he believes that there is no terrorism connection. Nonetheless, it is “an open investigation,” he said.

There were workers on the bridge doing concrete and duct repairs at the time of the crash, according to Mr. Wiedefeld.

It is “too early to be determined” how long the bridge will be closed, he said.

Baltimore PD Chief: Bridge Collapse Not Terrorism

By Jackson Richman

Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said the bridge collapse was not an act of terrorism nor an intentional act.

Nonetheless, he told reporters, “There are people in the water we need to get out.”

Rescuers pulled to people out of the water. One refused medical care and the other is in critical condition and was transferred to a hospital.

Emergency personnel are still looking for 7 more people.

Here’s What We Know

By Jackson Richman

A cargo ship hit the iconic Francis Scott Key Bridge—named after the man behind America’s national anthem—and caused it to collapse in the wee hours of March 26.

At least seven vehicles cascaded into the water, according to Baltimore officials. Around 20 people were thrown into the river. Some of them have been rescued and rescuers are searching for around 7 more people in the water.

The ship, DALI, left the Seagirt Marine Terminal at approximately 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday. Its destination: Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The 984-foot container vessel, which appeared fully loaded, sailed on the Patapsco River for over an hour before it struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge bridge at 1:28 a.m., according to a live stream of the harbor.

Two sections of the bridge collapsed in 5 seconds after the collision.

“We received several 911 calls at around 1:30 a.m., that a vessel struck the Key Bridge in Baltimore, causing the collapse,” Baltimore Fire Department Communications Director Kevin Cartwright said. “This is currently a mass casualty incident and we are searching for seven people who are in the river.”

Mr. Cartwright said that the collapse is “a dire emergency” and that “our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people.”

The cargo ship, the Dali, had a Singaporean flag.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency in response to the collapse.

“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 posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Additionally, posted the Maryland Transportation Authority, “All lanes closed both directions for incident on I-695 Key Bridge. Traffic is being detoured.”

The bridge was 47 years old.

Rescuers pulled to people out of the water, according to Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley. One refused medical care and the other is in critical condition and was transferred to a hospital.

Emergency personnel are still looking for 7 more people.

There were no injuries on board the container ship, said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a toll bridge costing $3 for passenger cars to cross. Locals call it the Key Bridge. It was built in 1977 to alleviate congestion and delays at the Harbor Tunnel. It accounts for seven percent of the toll revenue the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) collects.

The bridge was scheduled for deck replacement along the entire length of the bridge as well as the installation of a fiberglass jacket protection system at the water pier columns. This project was slated to start in the summer of 2025, according to an MTA report.

Major Bridge in Baltimore Collapses After ‘Ship Strike’

By Caden Pearson

Part of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, collapsed early Tuesday morning after a collision with a large cargo ship, sending workers plunging into the water below.

The incident, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning, involved a Singapore-flagged container ship named the Dali.

“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 told The Epoch Times. “At this time, I have no further information available.”

Ms. Fennoy said that multiple agencies were currently at the scene.

The vessel collided with the bridge, as seen in video footage circulating online, which carries both north and southbound lanes of Interstate 695, causing a section of the bridge to catch fire before collapsing into the river.

According to MarineTraffic, which provides real-time tracking of ships, the Dali was shown as “stopped” directly under the bridge as of early Tuesday morning. The Class A container ship was headed for Colombo, Sri Lanka, according to the site.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) responded swiftly to the incident, closing all lanes of the bridge in both directions. Traffic was immediately detoured as authorities worked to assess the extent of the damage and manage the aftermath of the collision.

In a statement posted around 2 a.m. on social media platform X, the MTA urged motorists to avoid the southeast corridor of I-695, where the bridge collapse occurred “due to ship strike.” Alternative routes, such as I-95 or I-895, were recommended for commuters navigating through the affected area.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott posted on X that he was “aware of and en route to the incident at the Key Bridge,” and had been in contact with authorities.

“Emergency personnel are on scene, and efforts are underway,” he wrote.

The steel arch-shaped continuous through truss bridge was opened in 1977. It spans 1,200 feet (366 meters) of the lower Patapsco River and outer Baltimore Harbor.

From The Epoch Times

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