Ship 'Lost Control' Before Crashing Into Major Bridge: Unclassified Report

By Jason Hall

March 26, 2024

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Being Struck By Cargo Ship
Photo: Getty Images

The container ship Dali "lost propulsion" as it left port and warned Maryland officials about a potential collision prior to striking the pillar supporting the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Tuesday (March 25) morning, according to an unclassified Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency report obtained by ABC News.

The ship crew notified officials that they had lost control prior to the crash with the Interstate 695 bridge over the Patapsco River, which resulted in several cars plunging into the water below.

"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 states. "The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse."

An undetermined number of workers were on the bridge when the collision took place and emergency responders confirmed that two people were rescued from the water and at least seven others were reported missing as of Tuesday morning.

One person rescued was reported to be in good condition and refused treatment while the other was seriously injured and transported to a local trauma center, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace confirmed during a news conference via NBC News. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency in relation to the incident and planned to deploy federal resources at the scene.

Video footage from the scene showed smoke billowing from the ship as the bridge and road crashed into the Patapsco River.

Cars and trucks were present on the bridge just before the collision occurred and underwater drones, as well as sonar and infrared surveillance tools used at the scene confirmed that several cars had crashed into the river, according to Wallace, who noted that the number of people missing and vehicles on the bridge was undetermined. The ship didn't sink following the crash as its lights remained on.

Authorities also plan to use helicopters to survey the scene from the air Tuesday morning.

"We are still very much in an active search and rescue posture at this point," Wallace said via NBC News

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