Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: 6 missing people presumed dead; active search suspended

Rescue operations were underway early Tuesday where at least 20 people are believed to be in the water after the collaspe.

Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River early Tuesday after it was struck by a freighter that had warned authorities it had lost power, officials said.

>> Read more trending news

It was not clear how many people were driving on the 1.6-mile steel bridge when it fell, though Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said authorities had begun to stop traffic, likely saving lives. At a news conference Tuesday, officials said they are looking for at least six people, all believed to be part of a construction crew working at the time of the collapse.

A public webcam captured footage of the dramatic collapse of the bridge.

Minnesota DOT pays tribute to Baltimore

Update 11:19 p.m. EDT March 26: The Interstate 35 West bridge in Minneapolis, which collapsed in 2007, was lit in Maryland’s colors on Tuesday night in support of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, WCCO-TV reported.

“Tonight, the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River will be lit red, white, yellow and black -- the colors of Maryland’s flag,” the Minnesota Department of Transportation wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Our thoughts are with those injured or still missing, and with the brave first responders following this morning’s bridge tragedy in Baltimore.”

The I-35W bridge suddenly collapsed into the Mississippi River on Aug. 1, 2007, according to WCCO. Thirteen people were killed and 145 others were injured. The bridge was under construction when it fell into the river, but it took place at the height of the afternoon rush hour.

The bridge collapsed due to a structural flaw, officials said.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Two missing workers were from Guatemala

Update 10:58 p.m. EDT March 26: Construction workers were filling potholes on the bridge when it was struck, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Jesus Campos, an employee who was not involved in the incident, said his missing co-workers were of Hispanic descent and were replacing concrete on the bridge at the time of the collision, according to the newspaper.

The workers are all employees of the Hunt Valley firm Brawner Builders, according to Jeffrey Pritzker, its executive vice president.

The General Consulate of Guatemala in Maryland said in a Facebook post that two of the missing workers were from that country.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB expected to board Dali on Wednesday

Update 8:32 p.m. EDT March 26: A team with the National Transportation Safety Board will likely board the Dali, the freighter that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, for the first time on Wednesday, Chair Jennifer Homendy told CNN.

“We will look for electronics throughout the vessel -- anything we feel that could help us in the investigation,” Homendy told the cable news outlet.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

6 missing people presumed dead; efforts shift to recovery mission

Update 7:34 p.m. EDT March 26: During a news conference Tuesday night, officials said the six people missing after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse Tuesday in Baltimore are now considered dead, and efforts have shifted from a search-and-rescue to a recovery mission.

The Coast Guard is ending its active search-and-rescue operation, Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath told reporters, adding that “we are not going away.”

“Based on the length of time since the bridge collapsed, and the water temperatures, we do not believe that we are going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Gilreath said.

Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. of the Maryland State Police said that it was dangerous for divers and first responders to be near the wreckage of the bridge.

“The changing conditions out there have made it dangerous for the first responders, the divers in the water,” Butler told reporters during the news conference. “We will still have surface ships out overnight.”

The search will resume on Wednesday with divers hitting the water at approximately 6 a.m. EDT, officials said.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Carnival Cruise Lines will shift operations to Norfolk

Update 7:34 p.m. EDT March 26: Carnival Cruise Line will temporarily move its cruise operations from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, while rescue and cleanup efforts continue at the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

In a news release, the company said that the Carnival Legend, scheduled to return to Baltimore on March 31, will be diverted to Norfolk. Guests will receive complimentary bus transportation from Virginia to Baltimore.

“Our thoughts remain with the impacted families and first responders in Baltimore,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. “We appreciate the pledge made by President Biden today to dedicate all available resources to reopen Baltimore Harbor to marine traffic as soon as possible. As those plans are finalized, we will update our future cruise guests on when we will return home to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we appreciate the quick response and support from officials in Norfolk.”

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Orioles cancel evening rally

Update 6:59 p.m. EDT March 26: The Baltimore Orioles canceled a rally and open workout scheduled for Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, WBAL-TV reported.

“We are devastated by the news of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse and send our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by this tragedy,” the team said in a statement. “We thank the brave first responders and the men and women actively working on the rescue efforts.

“Baltimore, we’re a tight-knit and resilient city. Together, we will get through this.”

The Orioles open their 2024 season on Thursday afternoon, hosting the Los Angeles Angels.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Buttigieg: Too soon to say when port might reopen to ships

Update 4 p.m. EDT March 26: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg declined to provide an estimate for when the Port of Baltimore might reopen to ships.

“The port here in Baltimore does the most vehicle handling of any port at all, and that’s just talking about the vehicle side,” he said. “There is no question that this will be a major and protracted impact to supply chains.”

He noted that the main part of the port is in the channel blocked by the bridge collapse.

“It’s too soon to offer estimates on what it would take to clear the channel and reopen the port,” he said.

Key Bridge, Baltimore map

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

6 people remain missing, governor says

Update 3:55 p.m. EDT March 26: Six people remain missing Tuesday afternoon, hours after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River, Gov. Wes Moore said.

A Baltimore City Council member told CNN that one body has been found during the search, although Moore did not confirm the discovery at a news conference later Tuesday.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

VP Harris addresses bridge collapse

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT March 26: Vice President Kamala Harris said she spoke Tuesday with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore in the predawn hours.

“We have directed the federal government to use all the resources that are available to assist with the search and rescue, to repone the port and to rebuild the bridge as quickly as possible,” she said during an event in North Carolina.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB chairwoman: Will take time to investigate bridge collapse

Update 3 p.m. EDT March 26: NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said the investigation into what caused Tuesday’s bridge collapse will take time.

At a news conference on Tuesday, she said officials were focused first on search and recovery efforts. Six people are believed to still be in the water following the early morning collapse.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB leading investigation into bridge collapse

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT March 26: The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into Tuesday morning’s bridge collapse in Baltimore.

Authorities are holding a news conference to provide updates in the investigation on Tuesday afternoon.

Video showed the Francis Scott Key Bridge falling into the Patapsco River just before 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday after it was struck by a cargo ship.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Ocean carriers diverting to Port of Virginia after bridge collapse

Update 2:15 p.m. EDT March 26: Ocean carriers began Tuesday to make stops at the Port of Virginia as the Port of Baltimore — No. 1 in the country for car shipments — remains closed to ship traffic following the early morning collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“Our operating team is already working with ocean carriers whose vessels were due to call Baltimore and offering our port’s capability to discharge cargoes as requested,” officials with the Port of Virginia said in a social media post.

“The Port of Virginia has significant experience handling surges of import and export cargo and is ready to provide whatever assistance we can to the team at the port of Baltimore.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said at least one ocean carrier has already stopped in Virginia to offload cargo, CNN reported.

“We’ve got high-level interaction everywhere needed and we just wait to be called and as soon as we are, we’ll be moving,” the governor said.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Patient discharged from hospital after bridge collapse

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT March 26: A person rescued from the water following Tuesday’s early morning bridge collapse has been discharged from the hospital, according to CNN.

Citing a release from the University of Maryland Medical Center, CNN reported that the patient had been taken to R Adams Cowley Shock Center following the bridge collapse.

Officials earlier said eight people who were part of a construction crew on the bridge fell into the water when a ship struck the bridge before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Two have since been rescued, including the person who was hospitalized and another who declined medical care, authorities said.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Car manufacturers look to reroute shipments after bridge collapse

Update 1:20 p.m. EDT March 26: Officials with General Motors and Ford said they will reroute vehicle shipments on Tuesday after a bridge collapse closed the Port of Baltimore to ships, Reuters reported.

“We expect the situation to have a minimal impact on our operations,” GM said in a statement to the news agency. “We are working to re-route any vehicle shipments to other ports.”

Maryland officials said the Port of Baltimore is No. 1 in the country for car shipments, handling at least 750,000 vehicles in 2023.

John Lawler, chief financial officer for Ford Motor Co., told Bloomberg News that the bridge collapse was “going to have an impact on the company.

“We’ll work on the workarounds,” he said. “We’ll have to divert parts to other ports along the East Coast or elsewhere in the country.”

Officials with Volkswagen told CNN that the company would not create shipping issues for the company, which has access to the ocean from its spot on the eastern side of the bridge.

However, the company said that “there may be trucking delays as traffic will be rerouted in the area.”

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB news conference pushed back again

Update 1:10 p.m. EDT March 26: A National Transportation Safety Board news briefing on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has been pushed back a second time.

Officials said the briefing will go on at 2:30 p.m. It had originally been scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

No sign bridge collapse was intentional, Biden says

Update 12:55 p.m. EDT March 26: President Joe Biden said officials saw no early indications that the crash that caused the Francis Scott Key Bridge to collapse was intentioal.

He said he plans to travel to Baltimore in the coming days and vowed to provide federal support to help find survivors and in the recovery efforts — including funds to rebuild the bridge.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden: Officials closed the bridge to traffic before collapse

Update 12:50 p.m. EDT March 26: President Joe Biden confirmed Tuesday afternoon that people on the cargo ship that hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge alerted officials that they had lost control of the vessel before the incident.

“As a result, local authorities were able to close the bridge to traffic before the bridge was struck, which undoubtably saved lives,” he said.

He shared thoughts for families waiting to hear news of their loved ones, saying, “I know every minute in that circumstance feels like a lifetime.”

The president vowed to provide federal resources to aid in search and rescue efforts.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB briefing pushed back

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT March 26: A National Transportation Safety Board news briefing on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has been pushed back.

Officials said the briefing will go on at 1 p.m. It had originally been scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden to speak about bridge collapse Tuesday

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT March 26: President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, White House officials said.

Earlier, the president said he was briefed on the bridge collapse.

“I’ve directed my Administration to ensure every federal resource is available to assist search and rescue efforts and response to this terrible incident,” he wrote in a post on social media.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg heading for Baltimore

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT March 26: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is traveling to the scene of the bridge collapse on Tuesday, his office confirmed to The New York Times.

Officials earlier said they had been in contact with Buttigieg after the Francis Scott Key Bridge fell. In a post on social media, Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., said Buttigieg and White House officials “are responding with all of the assets at their disposal.”

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB to brief media at noon

Update 11:15 a.m. EDT March 26: The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a news conference at noon on Tuesday after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed earlier in the day.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy will brief reporters on the agency’s investigation into the bridge collapse, officials said.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Brawner Builders had crew on bridge during collapse: report

Update 10:50 a.m. EDT March 26: A representative from Brawner Builders Inc. told NBC News that the company had a construction crew on the Francis Key Scott Bridge before it collapsed early Tuesday.

They declined to share further information with the news network. The company, which has headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland, includes the Maryland Transportation Authority and Baltimore County government among its clients, according to its website.

Officials said Tuesday morning that they are searching for six people who are believed to be in the water following the bridge collapse. All six are members of a construction crew that was working to fix potholes at the time of the crash.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

What to know about the ship that hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge

Update 10:40 a.m. EDT March 26: Officials in Baltimore said a cargo ship identified as the Dali crashed into a pylon supporting the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday, sending the bridge into the water.

The ship was sailing to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and scheduled to arrive on April 22.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Governor: Not clear when port will reopen to ships

Update 10:25 a.m. EDT March 26: Governor Wes Moore said that it remained unclear in the hours after Tuesday morning’s bridge collapse when the Port of Baltimore would reopen.

“We don’t have an estimate as of yet,” the governor said. “Right now, we’re focused on saving lives.”

Officials said six people were unaccounted for after the bridge collapse, all who are believed to be members of a construction crew that was working to fix potholes when a ship crashed into the bridge.

The Port of Baltimore is the No. 1 port for vehicles in the U.S., according to state officials.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Power issue reported on ship before crash; cars were stopped, governor says

Update 10:15 a.m. EDT March 26: Gov. Wes Moore said crew members on the Dali, the ship that hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday morning, reported a power issue onboard ahead of the crash that took down the bridge.

Moore said that between the time the crew sent its mayday and the collapse, officials were able to stop some traffic.

“Many of the vehicles were stopped before they got onto the bridge, which saved lives in a very, very heroic way,” the governor said.

Officials continue to investigate.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

6 remain missing after bridge collapse

Update 10:10 a.m. EDT March 26: Crews continue searching for six people who are believed to have been thrown in the water early Tuesday when a ship hit a pylon supporting the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said two people have been accounted for — one who has been taken to a hospital and another who has not.

As of Tuesday morning, Wiedefelt said there were “six unaccounted for,” and all were believed to be members of a construction crew that was working to fix potholes on the bridge when it collapsed.

Authorities do not believe that anyone is in vehicles detected in the water.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Crew working on bridge during collapse was repairing potholes, official says

Update 10:05 a.m. EDT March 26: A crew working on the bridge when it collapsed early Tuesday was working to fix potholes, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said at a news conference following the collapse.

“The crew that was out there working was ... just basically repairing potholes,” he said. “So we understand that it had nothing to do with a structural issue at all at the facility.”

Wiedefeld said one person has so far been rescued from the water.

“Our efforts continue in terms of that,” he said.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Bridge crash, collapse appears to be accidental, governor says

Update 10 a.m. EDT March 26: Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said all early indications point to Tuesday morning’s bridge collapse in Baltimore being accidental.

“The preliminary investigation points to an accident,” he said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “We haven’t seen any credible evidence of a terrorist attack.”

Moore earlier declared a state of emergency after a ship crashed into one of the bridge’s pylons, causing it to collapse.

Crews continue to search for survivors.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

FBI say no indications bridge collapse was terrorism

Update 9:40 a.m. EDT March 26: Officials with the FBI’s Baltimore office said authorities have found “no specific and credible information to suggest any ties to terrorism” as of Tuesday morning in a statement posted on social media.

“The investigation is ongoing,” officials added. “FBI Baltimore will continue to support our partners at the local, state, and federal levels.”

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NTSB investigating bridge collapse

Update 9:35 a.m. EDT March 26: The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

What to know about the Port of Baltimore

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT March 26: According to officials in Maryland, the Port of Baltimore is one of the country’s top ports in terms of total cargo tonnage and the value of the cargo. It is the No. 1 port for vehicles in the U.S., authorities said.

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

— Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content DeskMayorkas: No indication of terror

Update 8:39 a.m. EDT March 26: Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement Tuesday saying, “There are no indications this (the collapse of the bridge) was an intentional act,” adding, “we are assessing the impacts to the Port of Baltimore,” ABC News reported.

No crew members injured

Update 8:18 a.m. EDT March 26: CNN is reporting that no crew members onboard the 948-foot vessel Dali were injured when the ship hit the bridge.

There were 22 crewmembers on the ship when it hit the bridge.

Report: Vessel reported it had ‘lost propulsion;’ collision was possible

Update 7:49 a.m. EDT March 26: According to a report from ABC News, the Singapore-flagged vessel Dali “lost propulsion” as it was leaving port, prompting the crew to notify the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control and collision with the bridge was possible.

ABC cited an unclassified Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency report.

“The vessel notified MD Department of Transportation (MDOT) that they had lost control of the vessel and a collision with the bridge was possible,” the report said. “The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse.”

White House says it sees no ‘nefarious intent’

Update 7:47 a.m. EDT March 26: The White House is “closely monitoring” the developments at the bridge and so far has seen “no indication of any nefarious intent,” according to a White House official who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those who remain missing as a result of this horrific incident,” the official said. “The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting search and rescue for those who remain unaccounted for as a result of the bridge collapse.”

Ships back up waiting to get into port

Update 7:38 a.m. EDT March 26: According to Marine Traffic, a website that reports on maritime news, after the crash and bridge collapse, the Port of Baltimore is facing delays as eight bulk carriers and one vehicle carrier headed for the city’s port sit waiting at anchor.

Workers were on the bridge when it was hit

Updated 7:25 a.m. EDT March 26: Paul J. Wiedefeld, the Maryland Transportation Secretary, said that there were contracted workers on the bridge when it was hit by the ship that is about the length of three football fields. It is unclear how many were on the bridge or what happened to them, Wiedefeld said.

Ship was headed to Sri Lanka

Update 7:17 a.m. EDT March 26: The cargo ship that hit the bridge was built in 2015, according to Vessel Finder, a ship tracking website. It departed from the Port of Baltimore around 1 a.m. and was headed for Sri Lanka.

Here, from Marine Traffic, a video tracks the ship from when it left its dock until it struck the bridge.

Vehicles detected under the water

Update 6:28 a.m. EDT March 26: At a press conference early Tuesday, Baltimore officials said that first responders recovered two people from the water. One refused treatment and transport, and the other was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, Chief James Wallace of the Baltimore City Fire Department said.

“We may be looking for upwards of seven individuals,” Wallace said at the news conference.

Wallace said the search would take place above and below the Patapsco River.

“Sonar has detected vehicles under the water,” Wallace said. The water temperature early Tuesday was about 47 degrees, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“This continues to be a search and rescue operation,” he added.

Wallace said the freighter’s crew members remain onboard the ship. It is not yet known if there was a fuel spill from the vessel, though Wallace said that there was a smell of fuel in the area.

“There is absolutely no indication that this is terrorism,” a Baltimore police official said at the news conference.

Original report: FBI Baltimore field office personnel are on scene, according to the agency.

“The entire bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River,” said Kevin Cartwright, the director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department.

“We have reason to believe that there were vehicles and possibly a tractor-trailer” that went into the water, Cartwright said.

Volunteer firefighters from Harford County, which is northeast of the area where the bridge was located, tweeted that they are “assisting the Unified Command at the Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.” A swift water team and a special operations team are among those assisting, The Post reported.

Matthew West, a Coast Guard petty officer first class, said the 948-foot cargo ship Dali struck the bridge at approximately 1:27 a.m. ET. In a video from the incident, black smoke can be seen from the vessel, The Baltimore Sun reported. In the video, it appears the ship goes dark, possibly losing power, just before it hits the bridge.

Danish shipping and logistics company Maersk confirmed that the Singapore-flagged container vessel was charted by the company and was transporting Maersk cargo. It was leaving Baltimore when it struck the bridge.

It is believed that construction workers were also on the bridge when it was hit by the ship, but that has not been confirmed.

According to the National Weather Service, at the time of the crash visibility was at about 10 miles.

Built in 1977, the bridge was later named after the author of the American national anthem, Francis Scott Key. Its main section spans 1,200 feet, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance.

It was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world, the NSBA said.

CNN is reporting at least 20 people are in the water.

According to Reuters, the registered owner of the ship is Grace Ocean Pte Ltd. and it is managed by Synergy Marine Group.

The Maryland Transportation Authority has closed Interstate 695 in both directions. Motorists were advised to use I-95 or I-895.

Check back for more on this developing story.


On Air95.1 WAPE - Jacksonville's #1 Hit Music Station Logo

mobile apps

Everything you love about wape.com and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!