The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has completely collapsed after being hit by the container ship Dali early this morning. Although the crew on board the ship is reported to be safe, multiple people are said to have fallen into water from the bridge. So far, two have been rescued.

Managers Synergy Group of the Singapore-flagged container ship Dali (IMO 9697428) report that the vessel collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, whilst under pilotage with two pilots on board, at approximately 01:30 local time on 26th March. All crew members, including the two pilots have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries. There has also been no pollution. The Dali is on time-charter to Maersk.

However, there were vehicles on the bridge, which fell into the water as the bridge collapsed. Rescue services are trying to rescue people from the water. So far, media report two people have been rescued, with one in serious condition.

The US Coast Guard has sent response boat crews from Coast Guard Stations Curtis Bay and Annapolis to the incident for active search and rescue. A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and Coast Guard investigators and pollution responders have also been deployed.

Governor Wes Moore has declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and says they are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration. Vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice.

Also read: Fog and single-point failure lead to allision with bridge support

Possible loss of propulsion

Whilst the exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined, the Dali has now mobilised its Qualified Individual Incident response service. The US Coast Guard and local officials have been notified, and the owners and managers are fully cooperating with Federal and State government agencies under an approved plan.

ABC News states that an unclassified Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency report has revealed that the ship lost propulsion before the accident. ‘The vessel notified MD Department of Transportation (MDOT) that they had lost control of the vessel and an allision with the bridge was possible,’ the report said.

Information about the Dali

  • Name: Dali
  • Capacity: 10,000 TEU
  • Onboard Units: 4679 TEU
  • DWT: 116,851.
  • Crew: All Indian, 22 in total
  • Owner: Grace Ocean Private Ltd
  • Movement: Outbound from Baltimore to Colombo

Picture (top): A view of the scene, shot during a visit of Governor Moore (photo by Maryland GovPics, Flickr).

Also read: Ships collide in daylight and good visibility