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‘Key Bridge is Gone’: State of Emergency in Effect After Ship Strikes Bridge

Officials have suspended vessel traffic in the Port of Baltimore.

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The governor declared a state of emergency and a search-and-rescue operation is underway after Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed overnight as a result of a ship strike.

As of 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26:

  • Search and rescue is still underway in water
  • Officials confirmed six people are still unaccounted and two people have been rescued
  • Preliminary investigation shows this was an accident
  • Gov. Wes Moore said the crew on the ship notified authorities that they had lost power.
  • Moore said between a mayday call and the collapse, officials stopped the flow of traffic so that more cars were not on the bridge, potentially saving lives.
  • Collapse reported around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday
  • Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency
  • Baltimore Beltway\I-695 closed from Glen Burnie to Dundalk (traffic map here)

“Our response teams are doing everything in our power to rescue and recover the victims of this as we speak,” Gov. Wes Moore said. “People right not are working to save lives.”

Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul J. Wiedefeld confirmed there was a crew working on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

“At this time this is an active search and rescue mission. We know there were individuals on the bridge at the time of the collapse working on the bridge, contractors for us,” Wiedefeld said.

The collapse was reported around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The 1.6-mile bridge carried the Baltimore Beltway\Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River.

SkyTeam 11, Baltimore’s only news helicopter, reported the portion of the bridge that collapsed was the steel superstructure and that the concrete bridge appeared to remain intact.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at a news conference early Tuesday morning. “This is a tragedy you can never imagine. Never did you think you would see the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of a movie …Our focus should be the preservation of life.”

Mayor Brandon M. Scott has issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in Baltimore City in response to the collapse starting at 9 a.m. and will remain in place for thirty days.

“We all awoke this morning to an unspeakable tragedy,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said at a news conference early Tuesday morning. “We have a long road ahead not just in the search and rescue but in the fallout after this.”

For more breaking updates on the search for survivors, statements from officials, and changing traffic patterns reported by our WBAL partners, visit