Home Latest News Timeline of the Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

Timeline of the Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

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Timeline of the Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed Tuesday morning after a cargo ship crashed into the span. The 1.6-mile bridge carries Interstate 695 in Baltimore, Maryland, and crosses the Patapsco River. The collision was captured on a livestream, with traffic moving along the bridge and construction crews working on the structure.

Below is a timeline of events that occurred on March 26, 2024:

Dali, a large 948-foot-long container ship that would eventually collide with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, left port from Baltimore Harbor. The ship was headed on a month-long voyage to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Minutes before 1:30 a.m., Dali lost power; lights on the vessel flickered as it headed toward a support pillar of the bridge.

LIVE UPDATES: BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLAPSE

1:26 a.m. – The ship issued a mayday call. The emergency alert allowed police to stop additional vehicles from getting on the bridge before the collapse, according to FOX 5 Washington D.C.

1:28 a.m. – Traveling around 9 mph, the ship struck a support pillar on the bridge. Within seconds, the structure crumbled and crashed into the river. Construction workers and vehicles working and traveling across the bridge plunged into the Patapsco River. 

Baltimore interstate sign

Following the bridge collapse, all lanes on I-695 were closed in both directions. (Kena Betancur)

1:35 a.m. – Emergency crews in the Baltimore area were dispatched for what they believe is a partial bridge collapse.

Search and rescue mission for survivors of the bridge collapse

1:50 a.m. – First responders arrived at the scene and reported a complete collapse of the bridge. 

CONGRESS EXPECTED TO CONSIDER EMERGENCY SPENDING MEASURE TO REPLACE BALTIMORE BRIDGE AFTER COLLAPSE

1:59 a.m. – The Maryland Transportation Authority posted on social media that all lanes on I-695 are closed in both directions. 

Cargo ship crashes into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was built in 1977. (Tasos Katopodis)

3 a.m. – First responders reported people in the water. 

5:08 a.m. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced on social media that he offered the U.S. Department of Transportation’s support.

6 a.m. – Maryland Gov. Wes Moore declared a State of Emergency and announced he was in contact with Buttigieg and other officials to obtain federal resources.

BIDEN SAYS HE TRAVELED ‘MANY TIMES’ OVER VEHICLE-ONLY FRANCIS SCOTT KEY BRIDGE WHILE COMMUTING BY TRAIN OR CAR

Also around this time, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived at the scene.

6:30 a.m. – Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace announced that two victims were rescued from the water, one of whom was in critical condition.

Aftermath of the bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, a major span over the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Md., collapsed after it was struck by a large cargo ship, prompting a massive emergency response for multiple people on Tuesday. (Jasper Colt/USA Today)

7:30 p.m. – The Coast Guard and Maryland State Police announced that search-and-rescue efforts for six construction workers were suspended. During a press conference, they said they do not believe the individuals will be found alive. 

According to officials, divers are expected to continue their search at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Expected impact of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

Built in 1977, the Francis Scott Key Bridge has around 31,000 vehicles pass over it daily. The collapse will likely cause a temporary traffic delay for locals and the economy. 

The Baltimore Port is a major route for vehicle shipments, farm and construction machinery, agricultural equipment and more. Cruise lines must also adjust their routes, as three major cruise lines sail from the Port of Baltimore to their destinations. 

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The complete impact of the bridge collapse is yet to be determined.

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