Key Bridge Collapse – DEVELOPING STORY – What We Know
At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024, the Singapore-flagged container vessel Dali struck one of the support pylons of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge, causing the structure to collapse into the Patapsco river. This incident not only raises immediate concerns regarding public safety and infrastructure integrity but also poses substantial implications for the […]

by | Mar 27, 2024

The Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore at night, with lights reflecting over the water of the Patapsco river.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024, the Singapore-flagged container vessel Dali struck one of the support pylons of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge, causing the structure to collapse into the Patapsco river. This incident not only raises immediate concerns regarding public safety and infrastructure integrity but also poses substantial implications for the logistics and shipping industry, as container ships routinely travel the waters surrounding the Port of Baltimore for the efficient movement of goods across various sectors. Continue reading for a summary of what we know about the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

A live stream captured the entire Key Bridge collapse in real time, a video which has been widely circulated on social media in the wake of this incident.

Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse – Core Details

The incident occurred on the morning of Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 at 1:28 a.m.. Upon its departure for Sri Lanka from the Port of Baltimore, the container vessel Dali began to lose power intermittently, and smoke began billowing from its chimney. Traveling at a speed of 8 knots, or 9 mph, the vessel then struck a support pylon of the Francis Scott Key bridge, causing the collapse of a trestled span of the structure. The ship then caught fire, but remained above the water’s surface. A live video stream of the bridge captured the entire harrowing incident, which lasted about 7 minutes from the moment the Dali appears on camera to the final pieces of the bridge sinking into the water.

Worse Disaster Averted at the Port of Baltimore

Rescue efforts began immediately, with the Coast Guard sending divers into the frigid waters of the Patapsco to search for survivors among a group of 8 workers who were filling potholes on the bridge at the time of the collapse. Of those 8, only two survivors were found, and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Coast Guard announced that search-and-rescue efforts would be suspended. The other six workers caught in the Key Bridge collapse have now been presumed dead. All 22 of the ship’s crew members were accounted for.

Rescue efforts began immediately after the Key Bridge collapse, with the Coast Guard sending divers into the frigid waters of the Patapsco to search for survivors.
Rescue efforts began immediately, with the Coast Guard sending divers into the frigid waters of the Patapsco to search for survivors.

However, the quick thinking of an unidentified first responder helped to prevent an even higher casualty count. When the Dali initially began to lose power as it approached the Key Bridge, they issued a mayday radio call notifying the Coast Guard that they had lost their steering. Demonstrating exceptional situational awareness and foresight, the first responder immediately called for an urgent halt of all vehicular traffic on the Key Bridge, a move that proved instrumental in minimizing the extent of the calamity in the wake of the collapse. Thanks to this prompt intervention, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace confirmed that, by Tuesday afternoon, only five vehicles were detected in the Patapsco River via sonar technology.

More Information to Come

As the situation surrounding the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse continues to unfold, many details remain uncertain. The closure of the Port of Baltimore, a critical artery in the nation’s shipping network and particularly vital for the automobile sector, is expected to have profound implications on supply chains. The repercussions of this incident will undoubtedly ripple through various industries, underscoring the importance of staying informed on developments. Be sure to regularly visit the SGL blog, where we will continue to share updates and analysis on how the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge may reshape the logistics landscape.

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