Shock: Baltimore Bridge Collapse Sends Drivers Into Water

Rescue workers frantically searched for survivors after the shocking collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday morning. A cargo ship struck the structure at roughly 1:50 a.m., sending multiple spans of the bridge plunging into the Patapsco River.

Authorities believed as many as 20 people were in the water as dive teams combed the area. According to the fire department “multiple” vehicles were on the bridge when it collapsed.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace confirmed that what is believed to be a tractor trailer was one of the vehicles submerged in the freezing river.

Initial reports indicated that two people were rescued from the water, and one was in critical condition. Search and rescue teams were engaged Tuesday with attempting to find survivors both underneath the water and on the cargo ship.

Sonar was used to determine how many vehicles fell from the collapsed bridge. Workers were present filling potholes on the structure and may also have gone into the water.

Mayor Brandon Scott described the tragedy as “like something you could never imagine.” He said the video footage of the collision appeared to be “something out of an action movie.”

The cargo vessel Dali struck one of the bridge’s support columns, which resulted in the span buckling and falling into the water in just moments.

The ship lost power at least twice and issued a mayday call just seconds before it struck the bridge. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) called the vessel’s crew “heroes” and credited them with saving lives.

He indicated that officials were “able to begin to stop the flow of traffic so more cars were not on the bridge.” The governor declared a state of emergency and is attempting to secure federal resources.

The Biden White House was broadly criticized for its failure to react to the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, in Feb. 2023. In an election year it is likely to have a more forceful reaction to this latest incident.

The ship burst into flames after striking the 1.6 mile long structure, sending a plume of black smoke billowing into the night air.

Baltimore Fire Department director of communications Kevin Cartwright called the collision and collapse a “dire emergency. Our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people.”