Francis Scott Key Bridge In Baltimore Collapses

A container ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday morning, destroying the bridge and prompting an emergency response as people and vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the accident.

According to the New York Post, at least 20 people from seven different vehicles are believed to be missing.

The container ship reportedly lost propulsion as it was leaving port, immediately warned officials of a potential collision and then crashed into the bridge causing it to collapse within minutes.

“Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling it “an unthinkable tragedy.”

Due to the nature of the crash and the number of people considered missing, Scott officially declared a state of emergency over the incident.

The ship involved in the accident was a Singapore-flagged ship that was heading to Sri Lanka at the time of the crash. Two pilots and 22 crew members, all of Indian descent, are all “accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries,” said Singapore-based Synergy Marine Group, the company operating the vessel.

While the immediate priority is the rescue mission and ensuring everyone in the area is safe, the days ahead will also contain tough questions about what will happen next to the Port of Baltimore. Bloomberg states that the Port of Baltimore is “the biggest handler of US imports and exports of cars and light trucks.”

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedfield said all vessel traffic into and out of the port would be suspended until further notice.

A statement from the Port of Baltimore said, “This does not mean the Port of Baltimore is shut down. We are still processing trucks inside of our terminals” — but a report from Bloomberg states that the port “looks to be out of commission indefinitely.”

The bridge is also a major thoroughfare in the city and, with all lanes running across the bridge closed, traffic will need to be detoured for many days to come.