The Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore collapses after a ship crashed into it

The Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore collapses after a ship crashed into it

The vessel Zhen Hua 13, carrying four giant shipping cranes for delivery and installation at the Port of Baltimore, passes under the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Patrick Semansky/AP

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Patrick Semansky/AP

The vessel Zhen Hua 13, carrying four giant shipping cranes for delivery and installation at the Port of Baltimore, passes under the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Patrick Semansky/AP

A part of a Baltimore bridge serving as both an essential highway artery and a hub for shipping along the East Coast collapsed early Tuesday morning after a container ship crashed into it, sending commuters into the water.

Seven people fell into the Patapsco River below and are being searched for, said Kevin Cartwight, the Baltimore City Fire Department’s director of communications. He called the collision and collapse a “developing mass casualty event,” The Associated Press reported.

Emergency personnel have been dispatched to the scene, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said.

The ship that collided with the bridge was the Dali, a 948-foot container ship coming from Singapore, U.S. Coast Guard public information officer Matthew West told NPR.

Before the collapse, traffic was closed in both lanes, the Maryland Transportation Authority posted on X. The bridge is part of I-695, an arterial of Interstate 95, a major freeway running north-south along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.

MAJOR BALTIMORE TRAFFIC ALERT: AVOID I-695 southeast corridor. I-695 Key Bridge collapse due to ship strike. Active scene. Use I-95 or I-895. #baltraffic #mdtraffic

— MDTA (@TheMDTA) March 26, 2024

This is a developing story.

NPR’s Dave Mistich contributed to this report.

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