Ship hits bridge in Baltimore

The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship as a helicopter makes a pass after the bridge collapsed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 26, 2024.

(Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

​State of Emergency Declared After Cargo Ship Destroys Baltimore Bridge

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin said he was "deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of everyone affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore."

A state of emergency was declared in Maryland early Tuesday morning after a large cargo ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, leading to its total collapse and sending a number of vehicles and people into the Patapsco River.

As the Baltimore Sunreports:

In a Tuesday morning news conference, just a few hours after the incident, Baltimore Fire Department Chief James Wallace said authorities are "still very much in an active search and rescue posture" noting they are searching for "upwards of seven individuals" and that sonar has detected the presence of vehicles in the water. There is no indication that the event was intentional, Wallace said.

"This is a tragedy that you could never imagine … It looked like something out of an action movie," Mayor Brandon Scott said.

In a later press conference, officials said that two members of a construction crew that was on the bridge at the time of the collision had been rescued while six others remained unaccounted for.

The terrifying footage of the bridge's collapse—which CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez commented was "almost unbelievable" to watch—is circulating widely on news channels and social media:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday that he had spoken with Mayor Scott and well as Maryland Governor Wes Moore and was helping to coordinate federal assistance.

"Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response," said Buttigieg.

Moore said in a statement he had declared a state of emergency and that work was underway to "quickly deploy federal resources" to the area.

"We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone's safety," said Moore. "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."

Early reporting indicated that no crew members aboard the container ship, which sails under a Singapore flag, were injured or missing. A local harbor pilot was also said to be on board at the time of the crash.

"Deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of everyone affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore," said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) following the accident. "I'm profoundly thankful to first responders on the scene and will track rescue efforts by local, state, and federal authorities."

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