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  • Nicolas Huber

Baltimore Bridge Collapse – What we know so far

Many Americans living in Baltimore, a city in the state of Maryland woke up as usual and went off to go to work, only to find out the Francis Scott Key Bridge that they usually took was gone. The early hours of the 26th of March 2024 saw the most recent bridge collapse that made news worldwide. Images and videos quickly spread, showing that the bridge did indeed not collapse on its own, but was rather hit by a ship. This article will cover what we know about the situation so far. 

Opening on the 23rd of March 1977, the Francis Scott Key Bridge was a truss bridge spanning the lower Patapsco River from Dundalk to Hawkins Point, two small neighborhoods. Being part of the interstate highway known as the Baltimore Beltway, it could help up to 11.5 million vehicles cross the river annually... until it was hit by the MV Dali, colliding with one of its supporting piers. The bridge collapsed in seconds, leaving everything but the starting parts of the bridge leaving the mainland in the water.  

Many news stations around the world quickly spread the message of what had happened and speculations of why the MV Dali collided with the Baltimore bridge immediately began being thrown around. Some speculated that a total loss of power occurred prior to the hit, as all lights on the ship suddenly went out, others thought the bridge was hit out of pure negligence. Both would turn out to be true, as the ship did indeed lose power to both engines and navigation equipment, but the Baltimore City Council said they had anonymously been given reports of the MV Dali having apparent electrical problems before leaving port. The ship's owner and operator have asked a federal judge to allieve them of any wrongdoing; a full investigation could take years.  

Not only was the aftermath a lot of debris and a damaged ship, but 6 presumed deaths to construction workers fixing potholes on the bridge. Two bodies were discovered the day after the collapse with another two being found in the following weeks. 

So, what action has been taken to replace the bridge services until it's rebuilt? The City of Baltimore has opened three channels to allow ships to enter and depart the Port of Baltimore, as the debris of the old bridge are just now being lifted out by a crane. As for the vehicles trying to cross the river, they will have to use one of the other 7 bridges that cross the Patapsco River. 

President Joe Biden visited the wreckage on April 5th, looking to congress for the federal government to pay for 100% of the cleanup and rebuilding of the beloved bridge.  



Sources: - Video of bridge collapsing 

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