‘Key Bridge is gone’: Ship strike destroys bridge, state of emergency declared

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The governor declared a state of emergency and a search-and-rescue operation is underway after Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed overnight as a result of a ship strike.THE LATEST RIGHT NOW:• Collapse reported around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday• Two people rescued so far. One is seriously hurt, taken to trauma center• As many as seven people may be unaccounted for• Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency• Baltimore BeltwayI-695 closed from Glen Burnie to Dundalk (traffic map here)The collapse was reported around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The 1.6-mile bridge carried the Baltimore BeltwayInterstate 695 over the Patapsco River.SkyTeam 11, Baltimore’s only news helicopter, reported the portion of the bridge that collapsed was the steel superstructure and that the concrete bridge appeared to remain intact.”This is an unthinkable tragedy,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at a news conference early Tuesday morning. “This is a tragedy you can never imagine. Never did you think you would see the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of a movie … Our focus should be the preservation of life.””We all awoke this morning to an unspeakable tragedy,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said at a news conference early Tuesday morning. “We have a long road ahead not just in the search and rescue but in the fallout after this.”Video posted online shows the entire structure breaking apart in several locations and collapsing. The Associated Press reported the ship caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed from it.”A ship hit it and it’s gone. We thought it was an earthquake,” a person in the area told 11 News.Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said there is no intelligence or any indication that the incident was intentional.Video below captures collapse of Key BridgeSearch for survivors”This is a dire emergency,” Baltimore fire spokesman Kevin Cartwright said. “Our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people.”Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace said at 6:30 a.m. that two people were rescued from the water so far. One person was taken to a trauma center in very serious condition, the other declined medical treatment. A search-and-rescue operation continued over a large area.Wallace said officials believe as many as seven people may be unaccounted for preliminarily.SkyTeam 11 video below shows bridge collapsepoint of impactWallace said dive crews are in the debris field, battling darkness.”We’ll be guided by our guide teams,” Wallace said. “This water is current influenced, so right now, we think the current is coming in, so we have to take a lot of factors int play.””We have to be thinking about the families and the people impacted,” Scott said.Wallace said the crew of the ship is still on board.Multiple agencies are involved in a search, including the Coast Guard and dive teams. Video from SkyTeam 11 showed crews searching the water.Baltimore County fire officials said its crews responded with numerous water rescue resources. Harford County Fire and EMS said volunteer firefighters from the Volunteer Swift Water Team and the Harford County Department of Emergency Services’ Special Operations Team are assisting the Unified Command at the bridge collapse.State of emergencyMaryland Gov. Wes Moore released a statement, saying: “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.”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.”We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.”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.”The FBI’s Baltimore field office said its personnel are at the scene alongside local, state and federal partners.The ship was called “Dali,” according to Cartwright. A ship by that name was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, as its final destination, according to Marine Traffic and Vessel Finder. Alternate routes for harbor crossingsI-695 is closed between Maryland Route 157 in Dundalk and Maryland Route 2 in Glen Burnie.Interstate 95Fort McHenry Tunnel (Maximum height: 14 feet, 6 inches; maximum width: 11 feet)Interstate 895Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (Maximum height: 13 feet, 6 inches; maximum width: 8 feet)Vehicles transporting hazardous materials (including propane of more than 10 pounds) are prohibited in tunnels and should use the western section of I-695 around tunnels.Officials respondU.S. Transportation Secretary posted an update on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I’ve spoken with Gov. (Wes) Moore and Mayor Scott to offer USDOT’s support following the vessel strike and collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge. Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response.”Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s office posted a statement on X, saying: “I’m aware of and en route to the incident at the Key Bridge. I have been in contact with Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace, Gov. Wes Moore (and the county executives of Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties). Emergency personnel are on scene, and efforts are underway.”Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s office posted a statement on X, saying: “We are closely monitoring the ongoing situation at the Key Bridge.”I remain in contact with our emergency response team as well as state and local partners, including Mayor Brandon Scott and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman. Response efforts are ongoing.”Our prayers remain with all those impacted.”Where is this bridge?The Key Bridge open in 1977, completing the Baltimore Beltway’s circumference around the city. The bridge is southeast of the city proper and spanned from Sparrows Point to the southernmost tip of Baltimore.This report will be updated.Check traffic mapApp users tap here to check traffic map

The governor declared a state of emergency and a search-and-rescue operation is underway after Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed overnight as a result of a ship strike.

THE LATEST RIGHT NOW:
• Collapse reported around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday
• Two people rescued so far. One is seriously hurt, taken to trauma center
• As many as seven people may be unaccounted for
• Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency
• Baltimore BeltwayI-695 closed from Glen Burnie to Dundalk (traffic map here)

The collapse was reported around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The 1.6-mile bridge carried the Baltimore BeltwayInterstate 695 over the Patapsco River.

SkyTeam 11, Baltimore’s only news helicopter, reported the portion of the bridge that collapsed was the steel superstructure and that the concrete bridge appeared to remain intact.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at a news conference early Tuesday morning. “This is a tragedy you can never imagine. Never did you think you would see the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of a movie … Our focus should be the preservation of life.”

“We all awoke this morning to an unspeakable tragedy,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said at a news conference early Tuesday morning. “We have a long road ahead not just in the search and rescue but in the fallout after this.”

Video posted online shows the entire structure breaking apart in several locations and collapsing. The Associated Press reported the ship caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed from it.

“A ship hit it and it’s gone. We thought it was an earthquake,” a person in the area told 11 News.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said there is no intelligence or any indication that the incident was intentional.

Video below captures collapse of Key Bridge

Search for survivors

“This is a dire emergency,” Baltimore fire spokesman Kevin Cartwright said. “Our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people.”

Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace said at 6:30 a.m. that two people were rescued from the water so far. One person was taken to a trauma center in very serious condition, the other declined medical treatment. A search-and-rescue operation continued over a large area.

Wallace said officials believe as many as seven people may be unaccounted for preliminarily.

SkyTeam 11 video below shows bridge collapsepoint of impact

Wallace said dive crews are in the debris field, battling darkness.

“We’ll be guided by our guide teams,” Wallace said. “This water is current influenced, so right now, we think the current is coming in, so we have to take a lot of factors int play.”

“We have to be thinking about the families and the people impacted,” Scott said.

Wallace said the crew of the ship is still on board.

Multiple agencies are involved in a search, including the Coast Guard and dive teams. Video from SkyTeam 11 showed crews searching the water.

Baltimore County fire officials said its crews responded with numerous water rescue resources. Harford County Fire and EMS said volunteer firefighters from the Volunteer Swift Water Team and the Harford County Department of Emergency Services’ Special Operations Team are assisting the Unified Command at the bridge collapse.

State of emergency

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore released a statement, saying: “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.

“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.

“We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.

“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.”

The FBI’s Baltimore field office said its personnel are at the scene alongside local, state and federal partners.

The ship was called “Dali,” according to Cartwright. A ship by that name was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, as its final destination, according to Marine Traffic and Vessel Finder.

Alternate routes for harbor crossings

I-695 is closed between Maryland Route 157 in Dundalk and Maryland Route 2 in Glen Burnie.

  • Interstate 95Fort McHenry Tunnel (Maximum height: 14 feet, 6 inches; maximum width: 11 feet)
  • Interstate 895Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (Maximum height: 13 feet, 6 inches; maximum width: 8 feet)

Vehicles transporting hazardous materials (including propane of more than 10 pounds) are prohibited in tunnels and should use the western section of I-695 around tunnels.

Officials respond

U.S. Transportation Secretary posted an update on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I’ve spoken with Gov. (Wes) Moore and Mayor Scott to offer USDOT’s support following the vessel strike and collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge. Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response.”

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s office posted a statement on X, saying: “I’m aware of and en route to the incident at the Key Bridge. I have been in contact with Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace, Gov. Wes Moore (and the county executives of Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties). Emergency personnel are on scene, and efforts are underway.”

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s office posted a statement on X, saying: “We are closely monitoring the ongoing situation at the Key Bridge.

“I remain in contact with our emergency response team as well as state and local partners, including Mayor Brandon Scott and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman. Response efforts are ongoing.

“Our prayers remain with all those impacted.”

Where is this bridge?

The Key Bridge open in 1977, completing the Baltimore Beltway’s circumference around the city. The bridge is southeast of the city proper and spanned from Sparrows Point to the southernmost tip of Baltimore.

This report will be updated.

Check traffic map

App users tap here to check traffic map

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