Search icon


26th Mar 2024

‘Mass casualty event’ as bridge hit by ship collapses into river

Charlie Herbert

baltimore bridge collapses

Rescue efforts are underway

Baltimore Bridge has collapsed after it was struck by a “large vessel”, with several vehicles and individuals falling into the water.

Emergency services are responding after a 911 caller reported an incident in the Francis Scott Key Bridge area at around 01:30am local time (05:30 GMT).

“I can confirm at 1:35 a.m., Baltimore City police were notified of a partial bridge collapse, with workers possibly in the water, at the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” Detective Niki Fennoy said in a statement.

Footage from the scene shows the moment the bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River.

The Maryland Transportation Authority said the collapse occurred “due to ship strike,” and has confirmed the I-695 has been shut due to the incident.

A spokesperson for the Baltimore City Fire Department confirmed the bridge collapse is a “mass casualty event,” with the department’s communications chief telling the BBC that as many as 20 workers are believed to have fallen into the river.

The number of casualties has yet to be confirmed.

The ship was reportedly a Singapore-flagged vessel.

In a post on social media, the Baltimore County chief said rescue efforts were underway, and urged people to “pray for those impacted.”

Johnny Olszewski Jr. wrote: “I am aware of the situation at the Key Bridge and remain in regular communication with my Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Operations.”

“Rescue efforts are underway. Please pray for those impacted.”

The city mayor Brandon Scott has said he is “en route to the incident” and is in contact with local authorities.

Built in 1977, the Key Bridge is 3km (1.6 mile) long and is part of the 695 highway that circles Baltimore.

Upon its completion, it was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance.