What We Know About the Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse

What We Know About the Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse

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Federal investigators search for answers about how a massive cargo ship struck a major bridge minutes after leaving the Port of Baltimore early Tuesday.

A helicopter flies over the remnants of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed into the Patapsco River after it was struck by a ship in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit…Pete Kiehart for The New York Times

Adeel HassanAnna Betts

A giant container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Most of the bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River.

Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland declared a state of emergency shortly after the ship hit the bridge, a part of Interstate 695 and a critical transportation link on the Eastern Seaboard to one of the largest ports in the country. Vessel traffic has since been stopped.

Officials suspended the search and rescue effort on Tuesday night and the six missing construction workers are presumed dead.

Governor Moore said that there was no credible evidence of a terrorist attack. The priority, he said, was a search operation, led by the Coast Guard, to try to find people who may have been on the bridge.

Here’s what we know.

It is not known, and the National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating.

The 985-foot-long cargo vessel, called The Dali, was leaving the Port of Baltimore when it lost power and issued a mayday call just before hitting a critical component of the bridge, known as a pylon or pier. Radio traffic from emergency workers suggested that the crew was struggling to steer the ship, according to audio published by Broadcastify. Most of the lights of the ship went dark abruptly, just over two minutes before the ship hit the bridge.


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