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Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Incident Overview

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early on March 26 after a container ship collided with a pylon, resulting in the presumed death of six individuals who fell into the cold waters below. The incident has halted operations at one of the busiest ports on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Timeline of Events (Indian Time)

10:30 p.m. IST (March 26): Power Failure on Container Ship

  • At around 10:30 p.m. IST, the container ship named the Dali experienced a complete power failure while navigating the Patapsco River en route to Sri Lanka. This outage caused all lights on the vessel to go out.

10:27 p.m. IST: Bridge Collision

  • Three minutes later, at 10:27 p.m. IST, the container ship collided with a pylon of the bridge, causing significant damage to the structure, leading to its collapse into the water below.

Causes of Bridge Collapse

Design Flaw in Bridge Structure

  • Engineers attribute the collapse to the design of the metal truss-style bridge with a suspended deck. This design element contributed to the bridge’s vulnerability upon impact.

Impact on Bridge Foundation

  • The container ship struck a main concrete pier, a crucial part of the bridge’s foundation, which is situated underwater and relies on soil support.

Casualties and Rescue Efforts

Missing Persons

  • Six individuals are missing and presumed dead as per Maryland state police reports. These individuals are believed to have fallen into the frigid waters following the collapse.

Rescue Operations

  • Two individuals were rescued from the water, with one person unharmed and another critically injured. Notably, a construction crew was on the bridge at the time, with eight members falling into the river during the collapse.

Life-Saving Measures

  • Authorities were able to prevent further casualties by immediately halting traffic on the bridge after the container ship issued a distress call, as highlighted by the Maryland governor.                    Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Incident Overview_4.1