BALTIMORE (NEWSnet/AP) — Rescue efforts are in progress after a ship struck the I-695 Key bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday, causing the structure to snap in multiple places and plunge into the river below.

Several vehicles fell into the chilly waters after the 1:30 a.m. crash, and rescuers were initially searching for multiple people.

Two people have since been pulled from the waters, one in serious condition, according to Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace. 

The six people still unaccounted for were part of a construction crew filling potholes on the bridge, said Paul Wiedefeld, the state’s transportation secretary.

A senior executive at the company that employed the workers said Tuesday afternoon that they were presumed dead, given the water’s depth and the length of time since the crash.

The loss of the bridge access will cause traffic snarls in the Baltimore area. Maryland Transportation Authority announced all lanes are closed in the area of Key Bridge, directing motorists to I-95 or I-895 tunnels; and hazardous materials trucks to the western section of I-695 around the tunnels.


The vessel appears to have crashed into one of the supports of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, according to a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. The ship caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed out of it.

“This is a dire emergency,” Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press. Though he said it was too early to know how many people were affected, he called the collapse a “developing mass casualty event.”

Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. posted that emergency personnel were responding and rescue efforts were underway. The specialty crews on scene from multiple jurisdisctions included a Swift Water Team and Special Operations Team, the Harford County Fire and EMS department reported.


The temperature in the river was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit in the early hours of Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Cartwright added that some cargo appeared to be dangling from the bridge, which spans the Patapsco River at the entrance to a busy harbor. The river leads to the Port of Baltimore, a major hub for shipping on the East Coast. Opened in 1977, the bridge is named for the writer of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency and said he was working to get federal resources deployed. The FBI was also on the scene.



Synergy Marine Group — which owns and manages the ship called the “Dali” — confirmed the vessel hit a pillar of the bridge at about 1:30 a.m. while it was in control of two pilots. It said all crew members, including the pilots, were accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries.

Several vehicles were on the bridge at the time, including one the size of a tractor-trailer truck, according to Cartwright.

From a vantage point near the entrance to the bridge, jagged remnants of its steel frame were visible protruding from the water, with the on-ramp ending abruptly where the span once began.

A vessel called Dali was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, as its final destination, according to Marine Traffic and Vessel Finder. The ship was flying under a Singapore flag, WTOP radio station reported, citing Petty Officer Matthew West from the Coast Guard in Baltimore.

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