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Baltimore Bridge Collapse Eerily Similar to Other Accidents

3 weeks ago
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On March 26, 2024, people in Baltimore woke up to the news that the Francis Scott Key Bridge had collapsed at about 1:30 a.m. when a 300-foot-long vessel hit a pillar, and the 1.6-mile-long bridge went into the water.

As of about 12 hours later, first responders had pulled two people out of the Patapsco River. One had no injuries, while the other was transported to a local hospital.

Police officers say they believe at least seven cars were on the bridge when it collapsed, so they are continuing rescue efforts in the water near the bridge, which is about 50 feet deep. At least six construction workers were working on the bridge when it collapsed.

Workers completed building the bridge in 1977. It carries approximately 11 million vehicles annually and leads to the Baltimore port, the busiest in the nation for new cars, farm and construction equipment.

The ship that crashed into the bridge was the MV Dali, which workers had constructed in 2015. The ship was registered to a Singapore company Synergy Marine Group, which had leased it.

A resident likely piloted the 96,000-pound boat when it hit the bridge. The ship's crew had called a Mayday shortly before the vessel struck the bridge. This drastically reduced the number of cars on the bridge at the time it collapsed because police were able to divert traffic.

The MV Dali had previously hit a concrete wall at a pier in Antwerp, Belgium, damaging its stern. As with the accident in the Chesapeake Bay, a local pilot was likely at the stern at the time of that accident.

The ship has likely sold since the time of that accident. At that time, it was registered in Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

While this remains a rapidly developing story, other U.S. bridges have collapsed when hit by a vessel on the water in the past.


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