Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Difference between revisions

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=== Timeline (preliminary) ===

=== Timeline (preliminary) ===

The NTSB released a preliminary timeline of events from the ship’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and MDTA data.<ref name=”fox5_032724″/> All times are EDT on March 26, 2024, are approximate, and are subject to validation and change by technical experts to be convened by the NTSB. The VDR includes audio from the ship’s bridge and radios, and ship system data that includes, for example, ship speed, engine RPM, rudder angle, ship heading, and some alarm information.

The NTSB released a preliminary timeline of events from the ship’s [[Voyage data recorder|Voyage Data Recorder]] (VDR) and [[Maryland Transportation Authority Police]] (MDTA Police) data.<ref name=”fox5_032724″/> All times are EDT on March 26, 2024, are approximate, and are subject to validation and change by technical experts to be convened by the NTSB. The VDR includes audio from the ship’s bridge and radios, and ship system data that includes, for example, ship speed, engine RPM, rudder angle, ship heading, and some alarm information.

* 00:39 ship departed Seagirt Marine Terminal

* 00:39 ship departed Seagirt Marine Terminal

* 01:07 ship entered Fort McHenry Channel

* 01:07 ship entered Fort McHenry Channel

2024 bridge collapse in Maryland, United States

On March 26, 2024, at 1:28 a.m. EDT (05:28 UTC), the main spans and the three nearest northeast approach spans of the Francis Scott Key Bridge across the Patapsco River between Baltimore and Dundalk, Maryland, United States, collapsed after the container ship Dali struck one of its piers.[3][5][6][7]
Two people were rescued from the river; one had no injuries, while the other was transported to a hospital in critical condition. Six members of a construction crew working on the roadway were reported missing;[8] two bodies were recovered, and the other four are presumed dead.[9]
Much of the Port of Baltimore remains closed as a result of the collapse. Maryland Governor Wes Moore called the event a “global crisis” and stated that over 8,000 jobs were impacted. Experts estimate that the closure of the waterway is causing losses of $15 million per day. Barclays and Morningstar DBRS estimated that the insured losses from the collision could range from $1 billion to $4 billion, while Lloyd’s of London Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown suggested that the claims could end up representing the largest marine insurance loss in history.[10][11]

Background

The bridge (pictured in 2015) facing upstream; Dali hit the fourth pillar from left[12]
The Francis Scott Key Bridge was a steel arch-shaped continuous truss bridge. It opened in 1977, and it ran northeast from Hawkins Point in an isolated southern neighborhood of Baltimore to Sollers Point in Dundalk, crossing the Patapsco River, a vital shipping route giving access to the Port of Baltimore[13] and one of the busiest in the United States.[14] The port handled more than 444,000 passengers and 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo valued at $80 billion in 2023, including 750,000 automobiles.[13] It also employed 15,000 people and indirectly supported 140,000 others.[15]
The bridge was the second longest continuous truss bridge in the United States and third longest in the world.[16] The 1.6-mile-long (2.6 km) bridge carried four lanes of Interstate 695 which is a beltway around Baltimore.[13] Two lanes of traffic in each direction[3] were used by approximately 34,000 vehicles each day.[14] A cargo ship collision in 1980 left the Key Bridge undamaged.[17]
MV Dali is a Singapore-flagged container ship, operated by Synergy Marine Group[18] and owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd.[19] Danish shipping company Maersk has chartered Dali since its delivery in early 2015.[20] It was built in 2015 with a length of 980 feet (300 m), a 157-foot (48 m) beam, and a 40-foot (12.2 m) draft.[21] Dali passed two port inspections in 2023, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The first inspection was completed in June at San Antonio, Chile, where a monitor gauge for fuel pressure was repaired. A second inspection in September by the Coast Guard in New York did not identify any issues.[22]
Dali had previously traveled from Panama to the U.S., arriving in New York on March 19, 2024.[23] From there the ship sailed to the Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, Virginia, before departing for Baltimore on March 22, arriving on March 23.[23][24]
The main shipping channel under the bridge was estimated to be 50 feet (15 m) deep, while National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) charts show the depth at the bridge supports to be approximately 30 feet (9.1 m).[25]

Collapse
MV Dali immobilized by the wreckage
Dali left the Port of Baltimore at 12:44 a.m. EDT (04:44 UTC) on March 26, 2024,[26] bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka.[27] The ship’s crew of 22 were Indian nationals,[28] and the ship was being piloted by two local American harbor pilots.[12] At 1:24 a.m.,[29][30] the ship suffered a “complete blackout” and began to drift out of the shipping channel; a backup generator supported electrical systems but did not provide power to the propulsion system.[15] At 1:26 a.m., a mayday call was made from the ship,[30] notifying the Maryland Department of Transportation that control of the vessel had been lost and that a collision with the bridge was possible, citing loss of propulsion.[1] One of the pilots requested that traffic be stopped from crossing the bridge immediately.[3][31][32][33] The ship’s lights went out and came on again some moments later; the lights then went off again and powered back on immediately before impact as renewed smoke was emitted from its funnel.[12][34] At the pilot’s request, Maryland Transportation Authority Police dispatch requested officers to stop traffic in both directions at 1:27:53 a.m. Northbound traffic was stopped at the south side after 20 seconds. Southbound traffic was stopped at the north side by 1:28:58 a.m., around the time of the collapse.[35] Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority reported that the ship dropped its anchors before hitting the bridge, as part of its emergency procedures.[3]
At 1:28:45 a.m.,[36][37][38] the ship struck a support column of the bridge, beneath its metal truss and at the south-west end of its largest span, at roughly 8 knots (9.2 mph; 15 km/h).[13] AIS data showed the ship traveling at a speed of 8.7 knots (10.0 mph; 16.1 km/h) at 1:25 a.m. before departing the channel and slowing to 6.8 knots (7.8 mph; 12.6 km/h) by the time of the collision two minutes later.[34][39]
Within seconds of the collision, the bridge broke apart in several places,[40] leaving sections protruding from the water and the roadway’s approaches cut off.[13] The main span fell onto the ship’s bow and a section of it came to rest there.[3][41] The bridge strike and partial collapse were recorded on video.[42]
Multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time it collapsed, though initially no one was believed to be inside them.[13] Paul Wiedefeld, the Maryland Secretary of Transportation, said that workers were repairing potholes on the bridge at the time of the collapse,[13] but they were later reported to be in their cars on a break at the time of the collapse.[43] A resident living near the bridge recalled being awakened by deep rumbling that shook his residence for several seconds following the collapse, which he said “felt like an earthquake”.[13]
Emergency teams began receiving 911 calls at 1:30 a.m.[3] The Baltimore Police Department was alerted to the collapse at 1:35 a.m. Large-scale rescue and recovery efforts were initiated.[42] The United States Coast Guard deployed boats and a helicopter as part of rescue efforts.[3] Public safety divers were also dispatched to search for people who fell into the river.[44] A total of 50 divers divided into eight teams were deployed in rescue efforts.[3]

Damage
  Point of impact  Collapsed segments The collapsed part of the bridge includes the three spans under the metal truss, and three more to the northeast (right of image in Dundalk, Maryland). The left side of the image is Hawkins Point, Baltimore.[3]
The pier struck by the ship photographed in 2016
Aerial view of the damage
The collision of Dali with the southwest main truss pier destroyed it, bringing down the entire truss span.[45] As the bridge was a continuous truss bridge which relied on its overall structure to maintain integrity, when the south and central spans (on each side of the impacted pier) collapsed, the northern component (the third span) followed.[42] Each failure sequence took seconds and within 30 seconds, the entirety of the central span had fallen into the river.[46] The bridge was determined to be fully compliant with the building code when it collapsed.[3] The bridge had both dolphin and fender protection against ship impact, but these protections were insufficient.[47][48][49]
Thirteen of Dali’s 4,700 shipping containers were damaged following the collision,[50] while two containers fell into the water, neither of which carried hazardous substances.[51] Dali sustained hull damage above the water line and the ship was impaled by remnants of the bridge superstructure,[52] which press it against the channel floor.[53] The ship remained watertight,[52] but although the shipping company initially claimed there was no water pollution directly from the ship following the incident,[54][55] authorities installed 2,400 feet (730 m) of water containment booms[56] around the ship after a sheen was detected in the waterway, which was believed to have been produced by 21 US gallons (17 imp gal; 79 L) of oil that leaked from a bow thruster on the ship.[57] On March 27, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that they were investigating a hazmat spill coming from breached containers onboard Dali, including containers carrying corrosive and flammable materials and lithium batteries.[58] Fifty-six containers were reported to contain hazardous substances, approximately 764 tons of mostly corrosive and flammable materials, some of which had been breached.[59]

Casualties
NOAA reported a water temperature of 47 °F (8 °C) at the time of the collapse.[13] Two people were rescued from the river, one of whom was in “very serious” condition, while the other person was said to have walked off with no injuries.[60] One of those rescued was a Mexican national.[19] Six people—all part of the construction crew working on the bridge—were reported missing and are presumed dead following the suspension of a U.S. Coast Guard search effort.[3][9][61][62] One of them was identified as a Honduran national; two were from Guatemala, and the others were from El Salvador and Mexico.[19][30]
At least five submerged vehicles, including three passenger vehicles and a transit mixer, were detected using sonar. Emergency services also used drones and infrared technology in search efforts.[36] The bodies of two of the construction crew were recovered from inside a pickup truck: a 35-year-old Mexican national and a 26-year-old Guatemalan national.[63] They were recovered from a depth of 25 feet (7.6 m) below the mid-section of the bridge.[64] A 38-year-old Honduran national and a 49-year-old citizen of El Salvador have been identified as among the missing.[65]
The ship’s crew, including its two pilots, were accounted for and did not sustain any injuries.[54] However, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that an Indian crew member was slightly injured and required some stitches.[51]

Investigation

An evidence response team from the FBI examines a segment of the bridge several hours after the collapse
Officials coordinating response and rescue efforts on the day of the collapse
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) began an investigation and sent a team to the site.[66][67] The agency is expected to release a preliminary report two to four weeks after the collapse and later issue urgent safety recommendations, while its investigation could take between 12 to 24 months.[68] On March 27, NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy said that the bridge was fracture critical, meaning it had no redundancy against removal of support of any particular part of it; therefore, removal of one pier would lead to the total collapse of the main spans.[36] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was also deployed to the scene, but said that terrorism was not suspected in the incident.[13]
Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) and Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) sent personnel to Baltimore to assist in investigations. The MPA said it reached out to the NTSB and the Office of Marine Safety to offer support.[69]
NTSB personnel boarded the ship late on March 26 and obtained the ship’s data recorder, which would help investigators develop a timeline of events leading up to the collision.[70][71] Several possible factors were being considered, including the possibility that contaminated fuel or an improper grade of fuel had caused the loss of the ship’s power.[72][73]

Timeline (preliminary)
The NTSB released a preliminary timeline of events from the ship’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MDTA Police) data.[58] All times are EDT on March 26, 2024, are approximate, and are subject to validation and change by technical experts to be convened by the NTSB. The VDR includes audio from the ship’s bridge and radios, and ship system data that includes, for example, ship speed, engine RPM, rudder angle, ship heading, and some alarm information.

00:39 ship departed Seagirt Marine Terminal
01:07 ship entered Fort McHenry Channel
01:24 ship underway at a heading of about 141° with a ground speed of about 8 knots/9 mph
01:24:59 numerous audible alarms on the ship’s bridge, and ship system data stopped recording
01:26:02 verbal steering commands and rudder orders, and ship system data resumed recording
01:26:39 ship’s pilot requested tugboats
time TBD pilot association dispatcher phoned the MDTA duty officer about the ship blackout
01:27:04 ship’s pilot commanded to drop port anchor, and issued additional steering commands
01:27:25 ship’s pilot reported all power lost, and the ship was approaching the bridge
time TBD MDTA duty officer requested to close the bridge
time TBD all lanes of the bridge are shut down
01:29:00 ship ground speed of about 7 knots/8 mph, and collision sounds begin
time TBD first contact between the ship and the bridge
time TBD bridge lights go dark
01:29:33 collision sounds end
01:29:39 ship’s pilot reported the bridge was down
Aftermath
Immediate
The debris from the collapse has blocked maritime access to almost all of the Port of Baltimore, trapping several vessels inside the harbor.[12] CMA CGM was the first shipping line to declare force majeure on March 26, followed by COSCO and Evergreen—meaning they were declaring their intent to offload Baltimore-bound cargo at alternate ports.[74] This had a significant impact on the shipping industry, as shipping lines sought alternate ports and shippers raced to arrange for land transportation from those ports before late fees (detention and demurrage charges) began to accrue.[74] Only one part of the Port of Baltimore was unaffected: the Tradepoint Atlantic marine terminal at Sparrows Point, on the seaward side of the Key Bridge.[75]
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg contacted Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott to offer his department’s support.[76] Moore declared a state of emergency shortly thereafter,[3] and Wiedefeld ordered the suspension of all shipping to and from the Port of Baltimore[77] until further notice; trucking facilities remained operational.[13] Moore also described the bridge’s collapse as “heartbreaking”, while Maryland Center for History and Culture vice president David Belew said that “Our harbor, port and many families are fundamentally changed” by the disaster.[16] Moore also addressed the families of the victims in Spanish, saying Estamos contigo, ahora y siempre (we are with you, now and always).[68]
At 4:15 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration imposed a 5-nautical-mile (9.3 km) temporary flight restriction around the incident site.[78]

President Joe Biden was also briefed on the disaster.[13] In an address later that day, Biden said that he would ask Congress to fund the bridge’s reconstruction.[79] The federal government released an initial $60 million in aid.[57]
Maersk, which chartered the vessel, saw its shares decline by about 2% when trading opened at Nasdaq Copenhagen on March 26.[13] Maersk paused all service to Baltimore indefinitely.[67]
Rafael Laveaga, Mexico’s consul in Maryland, visited Baltimore to meet with the families of the Mexican victims. He confirmed that one of the rescued was from Michoacán, while the two who are still missing are from Michoacán and Veracruz. The Mexican Embassy in the U.S. is providing consular assistance to the families, with a dedicated phone line for affected Mexican nationals.[80] Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the disaster “demonstrates that migrants go out and do risky jobs at midnight”, and criticized their treatment by “certain insensitive, irresponsible politicians in the United States”.[81]
On March 27, Moore and Biden thanked Dali’s crew for transmitting the mayday call warning of the ship’s power failure and the impending collision.[82][83]
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is taking the lead in first removing portions of the bridge, and the U.S. Navy is planning to remove the submerged portions using barges with heavy lift cranes, including the “largest crane ship on the East Coast”, the Chesapeake 1000 of Donjon Marine Co., able to lift 1,000 tons;[59][84] the designated salvor is Resolve Marine.[53] Thirty-two USACE personnel and 38 navy contractors were deployed to the scene.[56]
On March 28, three officers of the Maryland Transportation Authority were recognized at the opening game of the Baltimore Orioles for their role in stopping traffic prior to the bridge collapse.[57]

Long-term
As of March 27, I-695 remains closed between the MD 173 and MD 157 interchanges.[85] Traffic is being detoured along I-95 and I-895, which cross Baltimore Harbor respectively at the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor tunnels; vehicles carrying hazardous loads are not permitted in either tunnel.[12] Vehicles with hazardous loads and those exceeding the tunnels’ vertical clearances are being detoured along the western section of I-695.[86] Advisories were issued to motorists as far away as Virginia warning of traffic delays caused by the bridge collapse.[13]
Stellantis and General Motors said they will divert vehicle imports to other ports, and Toyota reported that some of their exports could be affected.[87] Governor Moore said that the 8,000 jobs could be affected by the bridge’s collapse and called the disaster a “global crisis”. Experts also estimated daily losses of $15 million while the waterway remained closed to shipping.[59] On March 28, New York governor Kathy Hochul and New Jersey governor Phil Murphy offered the use of ports in their states in handling affected cargo shipments to minimize supply chain disruptions.[88]
In the Maryland General Assembly, Bill Ferguson, the president of the Maryland Senate, and state delegate Luke Clippinger introduced emergency legislation providing income replacement for workers impacted by the disaster.[89] Republican state senators Bryan Simonaire and Johnny Ray Salling introduced another bill that would allow the governor to declare a year-long state of emergency following damage to critical infrastructure, though it would not include the authority to seize private property for government use as now allowed under a state of emergency.[90]
Except for the unaffected Sparrows Point terminal,[75] Baltimore’s marine terminals will remain closed to shipping until the USACE clears the channel.[91]

See also

References

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^ @NTSB_Newsroom (March 26, 2024). “NTSB is launching a go team to investigate the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Media briefing to be held later today at a time and location TBD, which will be announced on this feed” (Tweet). Retrieved March 26, 2024 – via Twitter.

^ a b “Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse live updates: Ship hits major Baltimore bridge with construction crew on it”. NBC News. March 26, 2024. Archived from the original on March 26, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

^ a b “Cargo ship had engine maintenance in port before it collided with Baltimore bridge, officials say”. Associated Press. March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ “Baltimore Key Bridge collapse: One body recovered from river, says official”. The Straits Times. March 27, 2024. ISSN 0585-3923. Archived from the original on March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

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^ “NTSB Releases “Black Box” Timeline of Baltimore Bridge Strike”. www.maritime-executive.com.

^ Achenbach, Joel (March 27, 2024). “Why investigators are looking into ‘dirty fuel’ in Baltimore bridge collapse”. Washington Post. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ Simons, Raoul (March 27, 2024). “‘Dirty fuel’ could have caused cargo ship blackout before Baltimore bridge crash”. The Telegraph. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ a b LaRocco, Lori Ann (March 27, 2024). “Baltimore port bridge collapse: Global ocean carriers put U.S. companies on hook for urgent cargo pickup”. CNBC. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ a b Bologna, Giacomo (March 27, 2024). “Every dock in the Port of Baltimore is shutting down — except one”. The Baltimore Banner. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ Buttigieg, Pete [@SecretaryPete] (March 26, 2024). “I’ve spoken with Gov. Moore and Mayor Scott to offer USDOT’s support following the vessel strike and collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge” (Tweet). Retrieved March 26, 2024 – via Twitter.

^ “Containership Hits Baltimore Bridge Causing Collapse and Casualties”. The Maritime Executive. Archived from the original on March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

^ “4/1803 NOTAM Details”. tfr.faa.gov. Archived from the original on March 26, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

^ “Biden pledges support for Baltimore in wake of Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse”. ABC News. March 26, 2024. Archived from the original on March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

^ Hernández, Ángel (March 27, 2024). “Mexicanos desaparecidos en el puente en Baltimore son de Veracruz y Michoacán” [Mexicans missing on Baltimore bridge are from Veracruz and Michoacán]. Milenio (in Spanish).

^ “Central American and Mexican families mourn the workers lost in the Baltimore bridge collapse”. Associated Press. March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ “Indian crew praised for alerting authorities about power issue before Baltimore bridge incident”. Marine Insight. March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 27, 2024.

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^ “Key Bridge News”. Maryland Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 27, 2024.

^ Mattu, Rohan (March 26, 2024). “How to travel around the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore: A look at the traffic impact and alternate routes”. Baltimore, MD: WJZ-TV. Archived from the original on March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

^ Boudette, Neal E. (March 26, 2024). “Automakers say they are rerouting car shipments away from Baltimore”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2024. Retrieved March 26, 2024.

^ “Barges are bringing cranes to Baltimore to help remove bridge wreckage and open shipping route”. Associated Press. March 28, 2024. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ Wood, Pamela (March 27, 2024). “Lawmakers work on emergency aid to Port of Baltimore workers following Key Bridge collapse”. The Baltimore Banner. Retrieved March 27, 2024.

^ Sears, Bryan P.; Ford, William J. (March 28, 2024). “Republicans propose changes to state of emergency order following bridge collapse”. Maryland Matters. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

^ “Baltimore Bridge Strike Could be the Most Expensive Marine Casualty Ever”. The Maritime Executive. Retrieved March 28, 2024.

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