Home National news Baltimore’s Key Bridge Struck by Ship, Collapses into Water

Baltimore’s Key Bridge Struck by Ship, Collapses into Water

by PRIDE Newsdesk
The Key Bridge opened in 1977 and was “the third longest continuous truss bridge in the world. With the main span stretching 1,200 feet.” Photo courtesy The Afro.

by AFRO Staff

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has issued an alert on Facebook and other social media platforms warning drivers to “avoid I-695 southeast corridor” as a portion of the I-695 Francis Scott Key Bridge suffered a “collapse due to ship strike.” 

The I-95 and I-895 tunnels are alternative routes to the Key Bridge.

Videos showing the scene immediately began to make rounds on social media. A ship can be seen striking a pillar of the bridge, causing a major portion of it to fall into the Baltimore Harbor in the early morning of March 26.

Emergency personnel have responded, as multiple cars can be seen actively using the bridge for travel at the moment it collapsed.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski commented on the incident via social media. 

“We are closely monitoring the ongoing situation at the Key Bridge,” said Olszewski to his followers on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. 

“I remain in contact with our emergency response team as well as state and local partners,” he said. “Response efforts are ongoing. Our prayers remain with all those impacted.” 

According to information released by MDTA, the Key Bridge opened in 1977 and was “the third longest continuous truss bridge in the world. With the main span stretching 1,200 feet.” 

Later in the morning, Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency due to 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,” said Gov. Wes Moore in a statement. “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.”

Moore continued, “We will remain in close contact with federal, state, and local entities that are conducting rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy.”

Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman spoke out on the incident.

“It is truly horrific to see reports of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse early this morning. I am praying for and thinking of all those people who were traveling on the bridge, as well as the crew of the cargo ship involved and their families,” said Lierman in a statement. “I am so grateful for the efforts of first responders from around the state assisting with the ongoing search for victims and survivors. I ask Marylanders to be alert as they make their way around the area today.”

Baltimore Bridge Catastrophe: A City’s Heartbreak and a Nation’s Alarm

Francis Scott Key Bridge

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

In one of the ultimate nightmares, the Francis Scott Key Bridge, an iconic lifeline for Baltimore’s bustling metropolis, was ripped apart in a thunderous clash with a colossal container ship, unleashing chaos in and around Charm City and tragedy for at least seven families. The once-sturdy structure crumbled like paper beneath the vessel’s onslaught, sending vehicles plummeting into the icy depths of the Patapsco River below around 1:30 a.m. EST.

Officials immediately declared that they didn’t suspect terrorism or any sabotage.

Emergency crews raced against time, battling the elements to rescue survivors trapped in the wreckage. At 8:30 a.m., two individuals were reportedly rescued while the search intensified.

One of the victims emerged unscathed, while the other fought for life in the clutches of critical injuries.

“We’re facing an unprecedented crisis,” declared Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace, his voice heavy with emotion. “Our priority remains the search and rescue efforts to locate those still missing.”

Gov. Wes Moore wasted no time declaring a state of emergency and mobilizing resources and support from across the nation. “We stand united in the face of tragedy,” he proclaimed, rallying a city reeling from the catastrophe.

The collision, captured in chilling detail on video, sent shockwaves nationwide, prompting an outpouring of support and solidarity. Helicopters buzzed overhead, casting their searchlights upon the river’s surface as rescuers scoured the waters for signs of life.

As the day wore on, questions swirled amidst the debris. What caused this cataclysmic collision? Was it a tragic accident or something more sinister? Authorities moved swiftly to quell speculation, assuring the public that there was no evidence of foul play.

Yet, as investigators combed through the wreckage, unease lingered.

In the heart of the chaos, families clung to hope, their prayers echoing across the cityscape. At a nearby convenience store, relatives of the missing gathered in anguished vigil, their eyes filled with tears, their hearts heavy with fear.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, once a symbol of progress and connectivity, now stands as a monument to tragedy. Built to withstand the test of time, it succumbed to forces beyond its control, leaving a city grappling with the enormity of its loss.

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