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The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has completely collapsed. As seen in a widely-circulated video, the cause was a ship that struck the bridge around 1:30 this morning. There were likely multiple people on the bridge at the time. As of a 6:30am press conference, two people had been removed from the water—one in good condition, the other sent to a nearby trauma center—but the scene remains an active search and rescue mission, and sonar has detected the presence of vehicles beneath the water.

Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott called it an “unthinkable tragedy.”

CCTV video of catastrophic March 26 collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Courtesy @BaltimoreBanner via X/Twitter

Named for the author of the American national anthem, the 1.6-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge opened in March 1977 as the final link in I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway) and the outer crossing of the Baltimore Harbor.

It is unclear whether the collision with one of the bridge’s support pillars was the result of a mechanical problem or human error. The Dali, the Singaporean cargo ship that hit the bridge, had just left the port of Baltimore less than a half-hour before the catastrophic event, beginning what was to be a nearly month-long journey to Sri Lanka.

The steel arch-shaped continuous truss bridge carried almost 35,000 commercial and passenger vehicles daily, for an estimated 12.4 million in 2023. Its main span of 1,200 feet was the third longest of any continuous truss in the world. Now, roads are closed heading into Baltimore, including I-695, and Maryland’s governor has declared a state of emergency.


2018 photo of the Francis Scott Bridge spanning the Patapsco River at the mouth of Baltimore Harbor. Photo by tokar, Shutterstock

Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse.

The collapsed bridge pictured on the morning of March 26. Photo courtesy Hartford Co. MD Fire & EMS