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Baltimore Key Bridge collapse live updates: Temporary channel opens for boats working on bridge response

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(BALTIMORE) — A cargo ship crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning, causing a near-total collapse of the span and halting vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore.

Six construction workers believed to have fallen from the collapsing bridge into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River below are presumed dead, officials said. A search-and-rescue effort has been suspended and will shift to a recovery mission, officials said.

Here’s how the news is developing:

Apr 01, 12:48 PM
Biden to visit bridge on Friday
President Joe Biden will visit the Baltimore bridge site on Friday, April 5, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Apr 01, 12:33 PM
Temporary channel opens

A temporary channel has opened in the vicinity of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, but the channel is limited only to vessels working on the bridge response, the Unified Command said.

The temporary channel is a very small opening, only accessible for small boats, the Unified Command said.

The Unified Command is made up of agencies including the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland State Police.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney

Apr 01, 6:19 AM
Mayor warns of heavy rain on Monday

Baltimore was expecting heavy rain on Monday morning, adding to potential delays for commuters already “expecting delays” because of the bridge collapse, the mayor said.

“Baltimore — we know we’re already expecting delays due to the ongoing situation with the Key Bridge Collapse,” Mayor Brandon M. Scott said on social media.

He added, “With the added complication of this expected weather, please allow for extra time during your commutes and be patient for your fellow Baltimoreans!”

The National Weather Service, which is publishing hour-by-hour forecasts for the area near the Key Bridge response, said Monday morning will bring winds gusts up to 15 mph and an about 92% chance of precipitation, which may taper off after about 9 a.m.

Mar 31, 9:23 PM
Capt. of the Port of Baltimore is preparing to open a ‘temporary alternate channel’ in the vicinity of the Key Bridge

The Captain of the Port of Baltimore (COTP) is preparing to establish a temporary alternate channel on the northeast side of the main channel in the vicinity of the Francis Scott Key Bridge for commercially essential vessels.

“This will mark an important first step along the road to reopening the port of Baltimore,” said Capt. David O’Connell, federal on-scene coordinator, Key Bridge Response 2024. “By opening this alternate route, we will support the flow of marine traffic into Baltimore.”

This action is part of a phased approach to opening the main channel. The temporary channel will be marked with government lighted aids to navigate and will have a controlling depth of 11 feet, a 264-foot horizontal clearance, and vertical clearance of 96 feet.

The current 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect and is intended to protect personnel, vessels and the marine environment. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

The COTP will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) via VHF-FM marine channel 16. Mariners are requested to monitor VHF channel 16 for the latest information.

Members of the public may not enter the safety zone unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative.

Mar 31, 5:41 PM
2,600 Carnival cruise passengers rerouted from Baltimore arrive in Virginia

The first of multiple Carnival cruise ships rerouted from Baltimore due to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge arrived at a port in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday

About 2,600 guests aboard the Carnival Legend returned from a cruise to the Bahamas, getting off the ship in Norfolk. The passengers boarded 70 buses and were driven four hours back to Baltimore, where many left their cars parked.

“When we left Baltimore, we had to go under that bridge,” passenger Viktoriia Aldred told ABC affiliate station WVEC in Norfolk. “The bridge looked amazing and you go under the bridge and you’re like ‘wow.'”

Baltimore native Michael Lukoski told WVEC he heard the news of the bridge collapse while on the cruise to the Bahamas.

“When I got the news Tuesday morning … you couldn’t believe it,” said Lukoski. adding that when he first heard of the bridge collapse “it was like, ‘no way.'”

Mar 31, 4:52 PM
200-ton piece of collapsed Key Bridge removed

A 200-ton piece of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was removed Sunday from the vast debris field of twisted metal and concrete clogging entry to the Port of Baltimore, officials said.

Tons more wreckage as well as the crippled container ship Dali that crashed into the span and collapsed it still needs to be cleared, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore told ABC News Sunday.

“We’re talking about huge pieces,” Moore said of the debris crews are cutting up and preparing to remove from the waterway. “I mean, just sitting on the Dali, you’re looking at 3,000 or 4,000 tons of steel sitting on top of the ship.”

The operation to clean up the disaster site and reopen the channel began on Saturday and continued throughout Sunday, officials said.

Moore told ABC News a timeline hasn’t been set on when the channel will be reopened, echoing a statement from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Additionally, crews conducted a “grounding survey” on Sunday to “determine how hard the ground around the Dali is to inform the strategy for pulling it off,” officials told ABC News.

Mar 31, 10:50 AM
Still no timeline on when Baltimore port will reopen: Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday there is still no timeline for when the wreckage of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge and the crippled container ship Dali will be removed so the Port of Baltimore can reopen.

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Buttigieg said the Army Corps of Engineers and the Navy are bringing in a 1,000-ton crane and a 600-ton crane to clear the twisted debris from the channel.

“They have not wanted to speculate yet on a timeline because the operation is so complex,” Buttigieg said. “It’s not that you just have to remove the wreckage, it’s that you have to do it in a way that doesn’t cause portions of the bridge that are there across the water to shift. They’ve been under a lot of compression, tension; they could behave almost like a spring if they are not expertly managed.”

In addition to removing the debris, Buttigieg said the 248 million-pound shipping vessel still poses a problem, saying, “Measures are being taken to stop the ship from swinging into the channel.”

The secretary said part of the $60 million in federal funding released for the cleanup and recovery efforts will also go to the “acquisition, procurement and preparation for the new bridge.”

He said that while other East Coast ports have been absorbing container traffic, the Port of Baltimore is uniquely designed to handle the bulk of automobiles shipped to the United States.

“So as soon as it can safely be reopened, that, of course, is a major priority that really affects our entire national supply system,” Buttigieg said.

Mar 30, 4:31 PM
Highly trained crews on site to begin removal of collapsed bridge

Highly trained demolition crews will begin cutting the top portion of the north side of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge into smaller sections for safe removal by crane. One crane barge and one working barge are staged at the incident to support Saturday’s operations.

Salvage teams will use gas-powered cutters to systematically separate sections of the steel bridge, which will be taken to a disposal site. At the same time, salvage divers continue to conduct underwater assessments of the work site to support further operations. Every lifting operation requires engineering analysis to inform salvage operation plans.

The Unified Command is working in partnership with Baltimore Gas and Electric to reduce pressure of an underwater pipeline that spans the width of the channel and runs under the incident site. Unified Command is coordinating to inert the pipeline to free it from hazards and risk. Pipeline operations will continue through the weekend.

The Unified Command continues to maintain a 2000-yard maritime Safety Zone for the recovery efforts and a Temporary Flight Restriction with a radius of three nautical miles from the surface — up to and including 1,500 feet above ground level — also remains in effect.

The Safety Zone is enforced for the protection of personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards associated with salvage work. The vessel remains stable with crew aboard.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney

Mar 30, 3:21 PM
1st portions of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge will be lifted Saturday

The first portions of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge will be lifted out of the water on Saturday, marking the start of attempts to clear the channel to access to the Port of Baltimore, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced.

“The north sections of the Key Bridge are going to be cut up and removed, this will eventually allow us to open up a temporary restricted channel that will help us to get more vessels in the water, around the sight of the collapse,” Moore said.

“This restricted channel will allow barges, tug boats, and other smaller marine vessels to get around the wreckage. Once these portions are removed, the Army Corps of Engineers and its partners will need to reevaluate and assess the integrity of the wreckage before more sections are removed,” Moore said.

-ABC News’ Davone Morales

Mar 29, 11:22 PM
Unified Command plans to dispatch an additional 7 cranes, 10 tugs and 8 barges

The Unified Command dispatched the Chesapeake 1000 early Friday morning and plans to dispatch an additional seven cranes, 10 tugs and nine barges over the next 120 hours.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney

Mar 29, 4:28 PM
3 crane barges from US Navy arrive in Baltimore, 4th coming next week

Three cranes from the U.S. Navy have arrived in Baltimore to remove submerged portions of the bridge, and a fourth crane is set to arrive next week, the Navy said.

The Chesapeake has a 1,000-ton lift capacity, the Ferrell has a 200-ton lift capacity and the Oyster Bay has a 150-ton lift capacity, the Navy said.

“Work will focus on disassembling and removing the bridge section by section. The disassembled pieces will be lifted onto barges, which will then be transported away,” the Navy said in a statement. “An additional 12 crane and support vessels to include tugs, survey, dive and crew boats, are in the mobilization process and will arrive to Baltimore in the coming days.”

Mar 29, 2:49 PM
Freight nearly size of Eiffel Tower, shipping containers ‘ripped in half as if they were papier-maché’

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Friday outlined several goals in the aftermath of the bridge collapse, describing the scope of the disaster as a freight nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower “with the Key Bridge resting on top of it,” and shipping containers “ripped in half as if they were papier-maché.”

Moore told reporters the Unified Command continues to focus on recovery efforts to help bring “closure” to victims’ families.

He said as soon as conditions in the water are safe enough, divers will go back in the water to look for the four victims who are still missing.

Another priority is clearing the blocked channel, he said, stressing that the Port of Baltimore must reopen for the “health” of the Maryland economy and U.S. economy.


Mar 29, 2:37 PM
Biden to visit Baltimore next week

President Joe Biden plans to visit Baltimore next week with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, he told reporters on Friday.

The Biden administration approved $60 million in emergency relief funds for rebuilding the bridge hours after receiving the request from the state of Maryland, the White House said Thursday.

“The federal emergency funds we’re releasing today will help Maryland begin urgent work, to be followed by further resources as recovery and rebuilding efforts progress,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “President Biden has been clear: the federal government will do everything it takes to help rebuild the bridge and get the Port of Baltimore back open.”

Mar 29, 9:00 AM
Heavy duty crane arrives at bridge

The Chesapeake 1000 crane — capable of lifting roughly 2.2 million pounds at a time — arrived at the bridge at 11 p.m. Thursday, according to the bridge response Unified Command.

The piece of steel on the bow of the ship weighs roughly 9 million pounds.

Engineers will need to figure out exactly how and where to cut the steel to ensure no further danger will be posed to construction crews or the ship, the Unified Command said. Once the engineers determine where and how to cut the steel, they will begin to remove it from the ship in multiple pieces, the Unified Command said.

The Unified Command is made up of agencies including the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland State Police.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney

Mar 29, 8:32 AM
At least 1 vehicle still submerged

At least one large vehicle is still submerged under the murky Patapsco River, the Secretary of the Maryland State Police, Col. Roland L. Butler, Jr., said Thursday night.

Officials said they believe the vehicle belonged to the crew that was working on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

Pieces of the bridge, concrete and rebar also are in the water, Butler said.

“It’s going to take some time to get to that and it’s going to take some time to do carefully, and then to shore that up before we can put an end to recovering whatever’s in that vehicle,” Butler said.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott told reporters Thursday night he remains hopeful that the four victims who are still missing will be recovered.

“We remain hopeful that in the course of this salvage work, we are able to recover those who remain missing and bring them home,” Scott said.

-ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson

Mar 28, 7:28 PM
Cranes en route to Baltimore to help clear channel: Governor

Cranes are en route to Baltimore to help clear the bridge debris from the channel, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said during a press briefing Thursday.

The wreckage needs to be cleared to help advance recovery efforts, after diving operations were suspended Wednesday night due to “security concerns,” as well as to reopen the channel and ultimately rebuild the bridge, Moore said.

The U.S. Navy will be providing three cranes, according to a Navy spokesperson. Among them, the “largest crane in the Eastern Seaboard” should be arriving later Thursday evening, Moore said.

“This is an incredibly complex job, and our timeline will be long,” Moore said. “We’ve got work to do, but we’re moving.”

Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath with the U.S. Coast Guard said assessments are underway to determine how to break down the bridge into the “right-size pieces” so that a crane can lift them.

“Our number one priority is to reopen the Port of Baltimore as fast as we can [and] do it safely,” he said.

Mar 28, 6:02 PM
Biden administration approves $60 million for bridge costs

The Biden administration approved $60 million in emergency relief funds for rebuilding the bridge hours after the receiving the request from the state of Maryland, the White House said Thursday evening.

“The federal emergency funds we’re releasing today will help Maryland begin urgent work, to be followed by further resources as recovery and rebuilding efforts progress,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “President Biden has been clear: the federal government will do everything it takes to help rebuild the bridge and get the Port of Baltimore back open.”

Mar 28, 4:47 PM
3 responding officers honored at Orioles’ opening day for ‘courage, bravery’

Three officers from the Maryland Transportation Authority were celebrated at the Baltimore Orioles’ opening day on Thursday for their bravery responding to the bridge collapse.

“Their courage, bravery, and quick thinking saved lives,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. “When duty called, they answered. When crisis struck, they stepped into the breach for total strangers. In this time of challenge, they’re a bright light for our nation and our state.”

The officers — Sgt. Paul Pastorek, Cpl. Jeremy Herbert and officer Garry Kirts — said in a joint statement, “You train for years to respond to tragedy as an officer, but no amount of training could have prepared anyone for the events that took place on the Francis Scott Key Bridge.”

“We were proud to carry out our duties as officers of this state to save the lives that we could, and we are grateful for the incredible amount of support from this community that we love so much,” they said. “While your messages and outreaches are so appreciated, we respectfully ask for privacy at this time as we mourn the lives of those lost and spend time with those we hold dear.”

-ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson

Mar 28, 4:26 PM
What we know about the victims

The bodies of two of the six construction workers killed were recovered on Wednesday, found by divers trapped in a pickup truck submerged underwater, police said.

The other four victims have not been recovered.

The workers found on Wednesday were identified by police as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, a native of Mexico who lived in Baltimore, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, a native of Guatemala who lived in Dundalk, Maryland.

Among the four still missing is construction worker Miguel Luna, 49, a father of five, and Maynor Suazo Sandoval, a father of two.

Mar 28, 4:15 PM
Soaps, perfumes among hazardous materials

Divers are on pause due to the “hazardous conditions” caused by the collision, and officials are enforcing a 2,000-yard safety zone, according to the Unified Command leading the response.

The Unified Command is made up of agencies including the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland State Police.

“First responders have observed a sheen around the vessels,” the Unified Command said.

Perfumes and soaps make up the majority of the 13 impacted containers with hazardous materials, according to the Unified Command.

“Crews continue to assess and monitor for spilled oils and hazardous substances to prevent further discharge,” the Unified Command said in a statement Thursday.

“We have been conducting air monitoring on the vessel and around the vessel with our contractor. No volatile organic compounds or flammable vapors were observed,” the Unified Command said. “Pollution and debris removal operations are on-going. At this time, no atmospheric hazards have been detected.”

The Unified Command said it’s also monitoring water quality.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it sent two coordinators to work with the Coast Guard and other agencies.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney

Mar 28, 1:40 PM
Maryland requests $60M in emergency relief funds from federal government

The state of Maryland has requested $60 million in emergency relief funds from the federal government “for our immediate response efforts and to lay the foundation for a rapid recovery,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement.

The governor’s office said the funds are “needed for the state to proceed as quickly and safely as possible with debris removal, demolition, traffic operations and other emergency needs,” and that this “request is supplemental to funding provided by other federal partners to provide complementary work for the emergency response.”

This request is not related to bridge reconstruction efforts. The governor’s office said the state “is working to develop the preliminary scope and engineering estimate of future financial needs.”

President Joe Biden announced earlier this week that the federal government will pay for the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

-ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson

Mar 28, 12:49 PM
State will do a full evaluation of all critical bridges in Maryland, governor says

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore told reporters that the state will do a “true full evaluation” of all fracture-critical bridges in Maryland in the wake of the deadly Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

During a media availability on MLB opening day announcing the new ownership of the Baltimore Orioles, Moore asked for local leaders to help rebuild.

“I’m calling on everybody to do their part. In this game, nobody gets to sit on the sidelines. We need every single Baltimorean and we need every single Marylander to join us in this work to rebuild this bridge and rebuild the city,” Moore said. “And that work is happening as we speak. The best minds in the world are coming together to collect the information that we need to move forward with speed and safety.”

Once the bridge is rebuilt, Moore said, “We’re going to have another reopening day — and that will be the reopening of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. And you can bet on that.”

-ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson

Mar 28, 11:20 AM
White House task force meets to discuss federal response to collapse

The White House’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force held a meeting Wednesday and discussed how federal efforts can help the industries and workers impacted by the bridge collapse, according to the White House.

“Members of the Task Force shared real-time analysis of sectors with significant activity through the Port of Baltimore, including automobiles, farm machinery, and agricultural products,” a White House statement said. “Members of the Task Force also provided an assessment of the impact on workers and the community.”

“The Task Force will coordinate Federal outreach and efforts to assist impacted industries and will continue to monitor shipping activity at alternative ports as shipments are diverted,” the readout said.

The task force was created in 2021 to respond to pandemic-era supply chain disruptions.

-ABC News’ Michelle Stoddart

Mar 28, 10:08 AM
Collapse could cost as much as $4 billion

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge could cost as much as $4 billion, which would make the incident a record shipping insurance loss, according to a Morningstar analysis citied in a new Department of Homeland Security assessment obtained by ABC News.

There are currently seven vessels at anchor awaiting to enter the Port of Baltimore, the document said. Two have been directed to other ports.

Dive operations on Thursday will confirm the ship’s stability and structural integrity so crews can begin to offload the 13 damaged containers, the document said.

The bulk of the hazardous material is located on the stern. Of the ship’s 4,700 containers, 56 hold dangerous goods, but there is no threat to the public, the assessment said.

Two containers went overboard during the collision, but they did not contain hazardous materials, the document said.

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky

Mar 28, 6:32 AM
Survivor saved by first responder’s warning just before bridge fell, Gov. Moore says

One of the people on the bridge just before the collapse heard the voice of a first responder calling out for him to move off quickly, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

“The first responders, who, again, really moved heroically, after the first mayday was called, were able to move to both keep additional cars from coming on the bridge and to begin to notify the workers and people on the bridge they need to move off the bridge,” Moore said during a press briefing Wednesday.

“One of the survivors who I had the opportunity to speak with, one of the things he mentioned to me was as he was moving off of the bridge — and literally saw the bridge fall right after he moved off — it was because it was a first responder who was telling him to move off the bridge,” Moore said.

That life-saving notification was made “audibly,” although other contact between first responders and workers may have been made by cellphone or radio, Moore said.

Mar 28, 5:45 AM
Buttigieg meeting with shipping, supply chain partners Thursday

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg plans to meet on Thursday with shippers and supply chain operators, as his office assesses industry impact.

Buttigieg said the meeting was intended to help the DOT create a “coordinated approach” as it seeks to mitigate the disruptions to one of the East Coast’s most active ports.

“That said, the Port of Baltimore is an important port,” Buttigieg said at the White House on Wednesday. “So, for our supply chains and for all the workers who depend on it for their income, we’re going to help to get it open as soon as safely possible.”

Mar 27, 11:30 PM
NTSB chair confirms some hazmat containers on cargo ship breached

A hazmat investigator looked into the cargo on the container ship and identified 56 containers of hazardous materials, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said Wednesday evening.

The 56 containers hold 764 tons of hazardous materials that include “mostly corrosives, flammables, and miscellaneous Class 9 hazardous materials, which would include lithium-ion batteries,” Homendy said.

Some of the hazmat containers had been “breached,” and there has been “sheen” seen on the waterway, which state and local authorities are aware of and investigating, according to officials.

Homendy said it wasn’t known how many hazardous containers were in the water after the incident.

There were 23 people aboard Dali at the time of the collision, 21 crew members and two pilots, according to the NTSB chair.

During the briefing, Homedy said the data recorders they have access to are considered basic compared to a commercial plane.

The ship’s voice data recorder only captured limited information, she said.

The U.S. Coast Guard provided the NTSB with six hours of data between midnight and 6 a.m. ET upon arrival.

Officials said on Wednesday that the quality of audio from the box “varies wildly” because of the high level of background noise, which will have to be filtered out to improve the audio quality.

They expect to recover 30 days of data from the data recorders, she said.

Addressing the collision, the NTSB said that current data points to a power failure, but they have not confirmed that or a possible reason for the likely power failure.

Mar 27, 6:38 PM
2 bodies recovered from pickup truck under bridge: Police

Two bodies were recovered from a red pickup truck found in the water near the middle span of the bridge, Maryland State Police said during a press briefing.

The two men were located by divers shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to Roland Butler Jr., superintendent for Maryland State Police. The truck was submerged in approximately 25 feet of water, he said.

The victims were identified by police as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, a native of Mexico who lived in Baltimore, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, a native of Guatemala who lived in Dundalk. They were both construction workers, authorities said.

against the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge during a rain…Read More
One was identified by a driver’s license in his pocket and the other by fingerprint, authorities said.

Four other construction workers are presumed dead following the collapse, authorities said, as the search transitioned to a recovery effort on Wednesday.

A survivor who was hospitalized following the collapse was released earlier Wednesday, police said.

Mar 27, 6:35 PM
Reopening Port of Baltimore a ‘top priority,’ officials say

Officials said during a press briefing Wednesday that reopening the Port of Baltimore is a “top priority.”

Gov. Wes Moore said Maryland has submitted a request to the Biden administration today asking for emergency relief funds “to assist in our work going forward” as the Port of Baltimore remains closed following the bridge collapse.

Moore told reporters during a press briefing that he does not yet know what the total costs or the full timeline will be.

“Despite this task ahead of us being daunting, I can tell you right now our resolve is unshaken. We will get to completion,” he said.

Some 8,000 workers on the docks are impacted by the bridge collapse, the governor said.

“We need to make sure that we’re getting them back on the job — and the same goes for many others that have been affected by this crisis, both directly and indirectly,” Moore said.

Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen also reiterated during the briefing that 
getting the shipping lanes open is an urgent priority.

Mar 27, 4:22 PM
Timeline shows moments before cargo ship collision

At 1 a.m., the 984-foot-long, Singapore-flagged cargo ship pulled out of its berth at the Dundalk Marine Terminal, southeast of downtown Baltimore, and started to head up the Patapsco River toward the Francis Scott Key Bridge, according to the vessel’s tracking data.

At 1:23 a.m., a livestream camera captured the massive ship coming into view as it approached the Key Bridge, apparently on course to pass under the 1.6-mile-long span near the middle of the bridge’s cantilevered section. The footage showed light traffic on the bridge, including a tractor-trailer rig.

Mar 27, 2:27 PM
Ship’s crew on board and cooperating with officials: Coast Guard

The ship’s crew is still on board and is cooperating with officials, Vice Adm. Peter Gautier, deputy commandant for operations for the Coast Guard, said at Wednesday’s White House press briefing.

The ship “had a fairly good safety record,” he noted.

Gautier also stressed that “there is no threat to the public from the hazardous materials on board.”

“The real critical thing here is that, as you know, a portion of the bridge remains on the bow of that ship. And we will be coordinating very closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors to, first, affect the removal of that debris before the vessel can then be removed,” Gautier said. “The vessel bow is sitting on the bottom because of the weight of that bridge debris on there, and there are underwater surveys happening by a remotely operated vehicle. Divers will be in the water today to complete that underwater survey.”

The investigation into what caused the collision is ongoing.

“Anybody who is responsible will need to be accountable,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said.

Mar 27, 1:49 PM
‘If not for several factors … loss of life might have been in the dozens’: Buttigieg

“If not for several factors,” including the mayday call, the first responders’ quick action and the time of the day of the collision, the “loss of life might have been in the dozens,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said at Wednesday’s White House press briefing.

Six construction workers were killed and one was hurt when a cargo ship struck Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“Work is undergoing to recover their remains and our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg said he’s concerned about the local economic impact of the Port of Baltimore’s closure.

“No matter how quickly the channel can be reopened, we know that it can’t happen overnight, and so we’re going to have to manage the impacts in the meantime,” he said. “We’re working to mitigate some of those impacts, including using tools that didn’t exist just a few years ago. Following the disruptions to supply chains from the COVID pandemic, President Biden’s infrastructure package included the establishment of a new freight office within our department to help coordinate goods movement in ways that were not possible before.”

“We are using it now to help the hundreds of different private supply chain actors get better coordinated to keep goods moving,” Buttigieg said.

He said he’ll be meeting Thursday with shippers and other supply chain partners to “understand their needs” during this disruption.

“That said, the port of Baltimore is an important port, so for our supply chains and for all the workers who depend on it for their income, we’re going to help to get it open as soon as safely possible,” he added.

Mar 27, 1:05 PM
10 other ships stuck in Port of Baltimore

Ten ships — not including the Dali — are stuck inside the Port of Baltimore, according to a new update by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

They are comprised of: three bulk carriers, one vehicle carrier, three logistics naval vessels, two general cargo ships and one oil chemical tanker.

An additional vehicle carrier is in the port but outside the site of the bridge collapse.

This list does not include additional tugboats, sailboats and private yachts that are also in a holding pattern as the Port of Baltimore remains closed.

The port said Tuesday vessel traffic in and out is “suspended until further notice.”

-Noah Minnie and Elizabeth Schulze

Mar 27, 12:02 PM
Ship ‘experienced momentary loss of propulsion’: Singapore’s port authority

Dali, the container ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, “experienced momentary loss of propulsion” just before the collision, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore confirmed.

The Singaporean-flagged ship underwent and passed two separate inspections in June and September 2023, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

“Based on records, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore confirms that the vessel’s required classification society and statutory certificates covering the structural integrity of the vessel and functionality of the vessel’s equipment, were valid at the time of the incident,” Singapore’s port authority said.

“In the June 2023 inspection, a faulty monitor gauge for fuel pressure was rectified before the vessel departed the port,” MPA added.

-ABC News’ Laura Romero

Mar 27, 10:30 AM
By the numbers: Vessels impacted

The closure of the waterway will immediately impact the arrival or departure of eight foreign cargo vessels and four U.S. cargo vessels, according to an updated assessment obtained by ABC News.

From March 26 to April 9, arrivals into the Port of Baltimore of an estimated two chemical tank ships, five container ships, 15 vehicle carriers and 13 bulk carriers may be impacted.

One cruise vessel is anticipated to arrive on April 4, which may also be impacted.

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky

Mar 27, 8:36 AM
Water unsafe for divers: DHS memo

Imagery from underwater drones show “an abundance of twisted metal and debris” from the collapsed bridge, making it unsafe for divers to enter the frigid water to search for the six missing construction workers, according to a new assessment of the situation from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by ABC News.

One truck and trailer have been recovered, and one vehicle remains hanging from the metal structure, according to DHS.

The 23 ship crew members are all accounted for, and one was transported to a local hospital with a minor injury, the document said.

With the Port of Baltimore closed to maritime traffic, transportation officials expect backups to rail and truck freight shipments as cargo shifts along the eastern seaboard, the document said.

Investigators have determined there are 13 damaged containers aboard the ship and they are being inspected for any potentially hazardous materials, DHS said.

“There is minor sheening on-scene. Booming has been ordered and is staged but will not be placed until search and rescue and dive operations are complete,” the document said. “The amount of potential oil spill is 1.8M gallons of marine grade diesel.”

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky

Mar 27, 8:09 AM
Crash timeline expected today, NTSB chairwoman says

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are combing on Wednesday through a voyage-data recorder in an attempt to recreate a timeline of Tuesday’s cargo-ship crash, Jennifer Homendy, NTSB chairwoman, said Wednesday.

“We do have a download from the voyage data recorder that we’ve sent back to our lab to evaluate the data and begin to construct a timeline of events, which we hope to have later today,” Homendy said on “Good Morning America.”

NTSB investigators, who are leading the investigation, arrived at the bridge scene at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Twenty-four NTSB staffers were on site, including several specialising in nautical operations, human performance and engineering, Homendy said Tuesday.

She said on Wednesday that those investigators were expected later in the day to board Dali, the vessel that crashed into the bridge.

“We aren’t looking at the structure today,” she said, meaning the fallen bridge. “We will be boarding the vessel at some point today to begin to look at the devastation really, and then look through the vessel itself. “

Mar 27, 7:39 AM
Investigation is urgent, but will ‘take time,’ Gov. Moore says

Investigators were busy working on Wednesday to discover what caused the power loss prior to the crash, but the full investigation and repair efforts will take “not days, weeks nor even months,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said on Wednesday.

“This is complicated. It is difficult. But we still have to be able to move with a sense of urgency and we are going to get it done. But this is going to take time,” Moore said in an interview on “Good Morning America.” “This is not days, weeks nor even months.”

“We still have information that we have to uncover,” he said, “The thing that we do know though is that with a ship of that size, moving at that kind of clip, it was going to be difficult for that type of bridge to be able to sustain.”

Moore and other government officials had met on Tuesday with the families of the missing, as the search continued.

“Had the opportunity to pray with them and pray for them,” he said Tuesday. “And the strength of these families is absolutely remarkable, and we want to let them know that we are here with you every single step.”

He said investigators would do everything they could to give those families peace as the search turns to a recovery mission.

“We want to let them know we will use all resources to bring them a sense of closure and peace,” he said on “GMA.”

Mar 27, 7:19 AM
Ship’s force ‘almost unimaginable,’ Secretary Buttigieg says

The force with which a cargo ship hit Baltimore’s Key Bridge on Tuesday was “just unimaginable,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday.

“What I do know is that the force of this ship is almost unimaginable,” Buttigieg said on “Good Morning America.” “This is a vessel that was about 100,000 tons carrying its load. So 200 million lbs. went into this bridge all at once, which is why you had that almost-instant catastrophic result.”

As the U.S. works to update bridges around the country, each new generation of bridges is “more resilient than the last,” Buttigieg said.

“We are at work to make sure our infrastructure for the future is better prepared for any kind of threat,” he said. “Really what we saw yesterday was just unimaginable in terms of the proportion of that ship.”

Buttigieg had arrived at the scene in Baltimore on Tuesday, saying at the time that the DOT’s Maritime Administration would assist with disrupted port, harbor and supply chain operations.

The DOT’s Federal Highway Administration will assist with the bridge, he said Tuesday.

He said his “first thoughts” were with the missing construction workers and their families.

“Now they are dealing with news that’s just unthinkable,” he said on “GMA.”

Mar 27, 5:46 AM
Workers from Guatemala, El Salvador among missing

Construction workers originally from Guatemala and El Salvador are among the six missing after the Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore, foreign officials and local aid group said.

The two from Guatemala who are missing are a 26-year-old from San Luis, Petén, and a 35-year-old from Camotán, Chiquimula, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement. Their names were not released.

Another missing worker was identified as Miguel Luna, who is originally from El Salvador, according to Court Appointed Special Advocates, a group that works with immigrants.

“Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, left at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening for work and since, has not come home,” the organization said in a press release. “He is a husband, a father of three, and has called Maryland his home for over 19 years.”

-ABC News’ Victoria Arancio and Kevin Shalvey

Mar 26, 7:52 PM
Search and rescue efforts to be suspended, move to recovery operation: USCG

The Coast Guard said it is suspending the search and rescue efforts as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for the six missing individuals after the bridge collapse.

“Based on the length of time that we’ve gone in the search, the extensive search efforts that we put into it, the water temperature — at this point, we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath told reporters.

The conditions in the water, including low water temperatures and unpredictable currents, have made it dangerous for first responders, authorities said.

Authorities said they plan to conduct recovery efforts starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

“We’re hoping to put divers in the water and begin a more detailed search to do our very best to recover those six missing people,” Col. Roland Butler with the Maryland State Police said.

Mar 26, 7:08 PM
Carnival temporarily moving Baltimore operations to Norfolk

Carnival is temporarily moving its Baltimore operations to Norfolk, Virginia, amid the rescue and remediation efforts following the bridge collapse, the cruise line said Tuesday.

“Our thoughts remain with the impacted families and first responders in Baltimore,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. “We appreciate the pledge made by President Biden today to dedicate all available resources to reopen Baltimore Harbor to marine traffic as soon as possible. As those plans are finalized, we will update our future cruise guests on when we will return home to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we appreciate the quick response and support from officials in Norfolk.”

The move impacts the Carnival Legend ship, which is scheduled to return from its current voyage on Sunday, the company said. The cruise will return to Norfolk with free bus service back to Baltimore, Carnival said.

Mar 26, 5:25 PM
EPA on standby, not aware of any concerns

The regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency is on standby to respond to the aftermath of the bridge collapse if needed but is not aware of any environmental concerns at this time, according to EPA Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs spokesman Shaun Egan.

Synergy Marine Group said Tuesday morning that there was no pollution from the ship.

The Coast Guard is the primary federal agency responding and they have not asked for EPA assistance. Coast Guard pollution responders were sent to the scene, and if any releases of fuel or other pollutants are detected, the EPA official said the agency is ready to support that response.

The Maryland Department of the Environment said it is “conducting water sampling upriver and downriver of the site.”

-ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs and Beatrice Peterson

Mar 26, 4:09 PM
Harris: ‘We are all praying’

Vice President Kamala Harris said she is “praying for the families of those who are missing and all those who have been touched by this tragedy.”

“I spoke with the governor of Maryland this morning, and we have directed the federal government to use all the resources that are available to assist with the search and rescue, to reopen the port and to rebuild the bridge as quickly as possible,” Harris said while making a joint appearance with President Joe Biden at an event in North Carolina.

-ABC News’ Libby Cathey and Justin Ryan Gomez

Mar 26, 4:00 PM
‘Very much still a search and rescue mission,’ governor says

Fourteen hours after the bridge collapse, crews are still desperately looking for the six people who remain unaccounted for, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

“This is very much still a search and rescue mission,” Moore said.

“We had the opportunity to spend time with the families. Had the opportunity to pray with them and pray for them,” Moore said. “And the strength of these families is absolutely remarkable.”

“We are hopeful and we are with the families,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said.

“This is no ordinary bridge — this is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure. It has been part of the skyline of this region for longer than many of us have been alive,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “So the path to normalcy will not be easy, will not be quick, will not be inexpensive. But we will rebuild together.”

Buttigieg did not give an estimate of how long it may take to resume vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore.

Mar 26, 3:00 PM
What to know about the collapse

The container ship Dali struck Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, partially collapsing the bridge, officials in Maryland said.

A local pilot was at the helm of the ship at the time, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said.

The crash appeared to be accidental, not intentional, officials said.

Two people were rescued from the Patapsco River and at least six people remain missing, officials said.

Mar 26, 2:28 PM
Buttigieg meets with responders

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to the scene of the Baltimore bridge collapse, at the invitation of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, according to the Department of Transportation.

Buttigieg posted a photo of him meeting with responders.

An estimated 30,000 vehicles crossed the bridge per day, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Mar 26, 1:38 PM
Personnel on ship alerted officials before collision ‘which undoubtedly saved lives’: Biden

Personnel on the ship alerted the Maryland Department of Transportation that they lost control of the vessel, and officials were able to close the bridge before it was struck, “which undoubtedly saved lives,” President Joe Biden told reporters.

It appears the crash was a “terrible accident,” Biden said.

He said the search and rescue operation is the top priority.

“Ship traffic and the Port of Baltimore has been suspended until further notice. And we’ll need to clear that channel before the ship traffic can resume,” he said.

“It’s my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstruction. … I expect the Congress to support my effort,” Biden said.

“This is going to take some time,” the president said, adding, “We’re not leaving until this job gets done.”

Biden, who noted he’s been over the bridge many times, said he plans to visit Baltimore as soon as possible.

“Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families, especially those waiting for news of their loved one right now,” the president said. “To the people of Baltimore, I want to say: We’re with you. We’re going to stay with you, as long as it takes.”

Mar 26, 12:34 PM
No cars transiting bridge at time of collapse: Internal DHS briefing

Maryland transportation officials reviewed traffic cameras and confirmed there were “no vehicles transiting the bridge at the time of the incident,” according to the latest internal Department of Homeland Security briefing obtained by ABC News.

The local pilot who was at the controls is “undergoing post-accident Drug and Alcohol Testing,” the briefing said.

The cargo ship “remains impaled in the bridge,” the document said. “Several shipping containers with unknown cargo fell into water. There is hull damage above the water line to the vessel and the ship is maintaining watertight integrity.”

A slight sheen of pollution was observed in the water, suggesting there could be some oil or other pollutant “in the vicinity of the ship and pollution booms have been requested,” the memo said.

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky

Mar 26, 11:00 AM
6 unaccounted for

Six people remain unaccounted for as the desperate search continues at the site of the bridge collapse, Coast Guard officials said at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Two were rescued, including one who was hospitalized and later discharged, officials said. Construction workers were on the bridge working on potholes at the time of the collapse, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

“To hear the words that the Key Bridge has collapsed, it’s shocking and heartbreaking,” Moore said. “It’s not just unprecedented, what we’re seeing today — it’s heartbreaking.”

The collapse appears to be an accident, Moore said.

There’s nothing to suggest ties to terrorism, the FBI added.

The container ship was moving at 8 knots, which is considered fast, officials noted.

A local pilot was at the helm of the ship at the time, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said.

A harbor pilot and assistant onboard the cargo ship reported power issues, multiple alarms on the bridge and loss of propulsion prior to the incident, according to a Coast Guard memo obtained by ABC News. All personnel on the tanker are accounted for with no reported injuries, the memo said.

The Patapsco River channel is fully blocked, with approximately five inbound and seven outbound vessels in the queue for the next 24 hours, according to the memo.

The bridge was up to code, officials said.

Mar 26, 10:46 AM
What to know about the cargo ship

The Singapore-flagged cargo ship, Dali, spans a length of 984 feet and a width of 157 feet, a listing showed. It holds 22 crew members, all of whom are based in India.

The ship departed from the Port of Baltimore at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, embarking on a 27-day journey to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The ship “lost propulsion” as it was leaving the port and warned Maryland officials of a possible collision, according to officials.

The waterway into and out of the port is closed and there is no other route into the port, which is the second busiest port in the Mid-Atlantic.

Mar 26, 9:47 AM
Governor declares state of emergency

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

“We are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration,” Moore said in a statement.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott also declared a local state of emergency.

Mar 26, 9:28 AM
The history of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge

The 1.6-mile bridge on the I-695 beltway crosses the Patapsco River, where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words of the U.S. national anthem in 1814, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Key, after whom the bridge was named, was also an advisor to Andrew Jackson, served as the District Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1833 to 1841, and was a slave owner, according to the National Park Service.

Construction on the bridge, which was intended to ease traffic and maintenance concerns regarding the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel that serviced the waterway, began in 1972 and finished in March 1977, according to the MDTA.

Mar 26, 8:36 AM
1 person hospitalized in very serious condition

Two people have been rescued from the water and crews are still searching for others, fire officials said.

One person rescued has been taken to a hospital in very serious condition, Baltimore Fire Department Chief James Wallace said.

The second rescued person denied medical treatment.

Mar 26, 8:30 AM
‘No indications this was an intentional act,’ Mayorkas says

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said “there are no indications this was an intentional act,” adding, “we are assessing the impacts to the Port of Baltimore.”

“Our thoughts are with the families of the missing and injured,” he said.

The Coast Guard is “actively involved in search and rescue operations,” he said.

Mar 26, 8:09 AM
Biden briefed on collapse

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the ongoing search and rescue efforts, according to a White House official. He will continue to receive updates from his team throughout the day, the official said.

Senior White House officials have been in touch with the Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor to offer any federal assistance they need, the administration said.

-ABC News’ Selina Wang and Molly Nagle

Mar 26, 7:32 AM
Ship lost propulsion, warned of collision, CISA report says

An unclassified Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency report said the container ship Dali “lost propulsion” as it was leaving port and warned Maryland officials of a possible collision.

The crew notified officials that they had lost control, the report said.

“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. “The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse.”

The waterway into and out of the port has been closed and there is no other route into the port, which is the second busiest port in the mid-Atlantic.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney, Aaron Katersky and Kevin Shalvey

Mar 26, 7:15 AM
Cargo ship company says all crew members safe

The owners and managers of the cargo ship Dali, a Singapore-flagged vessel, said all crew members had been accounted for following the crash.

“All crew members, including the two pilots have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries,” Synergy Marine Group said in a statement.

The company said the 22 crew members, including the pilots, were based in India.

The 984-foot ship is owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd, the statement said.

The cause of the crash is “yet to be determined,” the statement said.

-ABC News’ Jenny Wagnon Courts, Laura Romero and Kevin Shalvey

Mar 26, 6:05 AM
Secretary Buttigieg offers DOT support

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a statement that he’s spoken with local officials to offer support.

“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,” he said. “Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response.”

-ABC News Molly Nagle

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