US Bridge Collapse: Cars Plunge Into Baltimore River After Being Struck By Container Ship, 'Mass Casualty Event' Declared

A devastating collision between a container ship and the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, has led to a mass casualty event, with vehicles plunging into the Patapsco River. Emergency services are scrambling to rescue those affected by the collapse, highlighting the urgent need for assistance in this unfolding tragedy.

US Bridge Collapse Photo: @sentdefender/X

A mass casualty incident has been announced following a collision involving a container ship and a bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, on Tuesday morning. Disturbing footage captures the moment the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed as a ship collided with its central section.

The steel arches swiftly gave way, plunging into the Patapsco River just before 1:30 a.m.

The exact number of vehicles on the 1.6 mile-long bridge was uncertain, but the Baltimore City Fire Department confirmed that "at least seven people" were in the river.

Kevin Cartwright, the communications chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, described the incident as an "developing mass casualty event."

“The dive and rescue team has arrived on scene to locate the individuals,” Cartwright said.

Emergency services are currently “trying to rescue and recover” those believed to have fallen into the water.

"This is a dire emergency," Cartwright emphasized.

The dramatic collapse was captured on video and shared via a YouTube livestream, depicting the structure collapsing into the water.

The US Coast Guard and the Maryland Transportation Authority confirmed the crash but did not provide additional details.

The Maryland Transportation Authority wrote on X, "All lanes closed both directions for incident on I-695 Key Bridge. Traffic is being detoured."

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. stated on X, "Rescue efforts are underway. Please pray for those impacted."

Authorities reported that the nearby body of water was contaminated with diesel fuel.

According to the maritime data platform MarineTraffic, the Singapore-flagged container ship named Dali departed from Baltimore shortly after 1 a.m. and was en route to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

Several Coast Guard boats, designated as search and rescue vessels, were seen circling the vessel around 3 a.m.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott stated on X, "I’m aware of and en route to the incident at the Key Bridge. … Emergency personnel are on scene, and efforts are underway."

A spokesperson from the Baltimore Police Department informed NBC News that individuals may have ended up in the river, although the exact number remains unclear.

"I can confirm at 1:35 a.m., Baltimore City police were notified of a partial bridge collapse, with workers possibly in the water, at the Francis Scott Key Bridge," Detective Niki Fennoy stated in a release.

The Maryland Transportation Authority announced the closure of all lanes in both directions following the tragic event.

Constructed in 1977, the bridge, a segment of I-695, spans into Baltimore's harbor.