Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (2024)

Table of Contents
Watch: Drone video shows aftermath of Baltimore bridge collapse More than 1,100 Army Corps of Engineers personnel assisting Biden: 'We’ll be with the people of Baltimore for as long as it takes' Baltimore City Council president looks toward a return to normalcy NTSB chair expects investigation to take 1 to 2 years 56 containers of hazardous materials were on containership 23 crew members still on board the Dali 2 more bridge collapse victims identified 2 victims recovered; recovery efforts now a salvage operation Brother of Baltimore bridge worker shares frustration over recovery mission Ten vessels stuck in the Port of Baltimore NTSB to hold news conference at 8 p.m. ET Mexico supporting families of 3 Mexican construction workers impacted in bridge collapse Buttigieg says he can't estimate yet when Baltimore's port will reopen Dali ship pilot didn’t notice anything off before engines failed Insurance will cover some of bridge rebuilding cost: Treasury secretary Construction worker remembers missing peers as 'great husbands, fathers, sons' Sister of Maryland bridge worker: He ‘was everything to us’ Two friends recall 'disturbing' moment bridge fell, just 30 minutes after they drove over it Divers haven't entered the water under bridge yet Maryland flag lowered to half-staff Nearby marina and restaurant offer support to first responders Baltimore mayor promises to give families ‘closure they deserve' Maryland lawmakers to propose emergency aid for port workers Recovery mission resumes in difficult conditions Maryland governor praises first responders for saving 'countless lives' NTSB chief and investigators to go aboard the Dali cargo ship today 'They they were fathers, they were sons, they were husbands': Maryland governor on meeting families of the missing workers NTSB has recovered ship's voyage recorder data Mexico confirms some missing construction workers are Mexican Maryland DOT warns motorists to expect longer journey times after bridge collapse Guatemala confirms two of the missing workers are Guatemalan, has spoken to their families Baltimore community shaken after bridge collapse leaves 6 missing The Key Bridge collapse is the latest in a long line of tragic bridge incidents Construction firm with six workers missing says bridge collapse was 'completely unforeseen' Prayer vigil held for victims of Baltimore bridge collapse Catch up with NBC News' coverage of the Francis Scott key Bridge collapse Baltimore community shaken after 6 presumed dead Maryland governor pledges every effort to recover victims Officers were about to alert the construction crew when bridge collapsed Container ship passed foreign inspections last year References

Watch: Drone video shows aftermath of Baltimore bridge collapse

NBC News

The NTSB captured the aftermath of the bridge collapse in Baltimore as investigators were surveying the extent of damage on board the cargo ship Dali.

More than 1,100 Army Corps of Engineers personnel assisting

Rebecca Cohen

More than 1,100 engineering, construction, contracting and operations specialists from the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers are providing support to local, state and federal agenciesafter the collapse, the corps said in a statement.

The Army Corps is helping to clear the channel where the bridge collapsed, according to the statement, as a part of the recovery effort to remove the debris from the water.

Biden: 'We’ll be with the people of Baltimore for as long as it takes'

Rebecca Cohen

"Earlier today, I sat down with Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg and Vice Admiral Gautier to discuss the coordinated response to the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge," Biden said on X.

He added: "We’ll be with the people of Baltimore for as long as it takes."

Baltimore City Council president looks toward a return to normalcy

Erin Kutch

Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby said his priority is to help bring normalcy back to his community.

“As we move on from search and rescue to now salvage, how do we turn some normalcy back to something that’s really important to our local economy, meaning the port?” Mosby asked on NBC News Now’s “Top Story with Tom Llamas.”

Rebuilding the bridge should remain the focus, he said.

“This is the ninth-largest port in the country. When we talk about the importance of the port being the most westward eastbound port, that’s why it’s the No. 1 importer of farming equipment that goes to the Midwest," he said.

NTSB chair expects investigation to take 1 to 2 years

Rebecca Cohen

Homendy said tonight she has "no doubt that we will be be able to pull this [the investigation] together in hopefully 12 to 24 months."

"With that said," she continued, "we will not hesitate again to issue urgent safety recommendations before that time if we need to."

She called the investigation into the crash a "massive undertaking" but noted that such an investigation is not new for the NTSB.

Right now, Homendy said, the focus is reuniting families with their loved ones.

"Everything else can wait," she said.

56 containers of hazardous materials were on containership

Rebecca Cohen

There were 56 containers of hazardous materials on board the Dali when it crashed, said Homendy, the NTSB chair.

The containers, holding 760 tons of hazardous materials, according to Homendy, mostly contained corrosives, flammables and "miscellaneous" materials, including lithium-ion batteries.

Some containers have been breached, Homendy said, adding that a sheen can be seen on the waterway.

Homendy said that some of the breached containers are in the water and some are on the vessel and that she does not know the total number of breached containers or the timeline for getting them out, as that does not fall on the NTSB.

She added that it is a "pretty dangerous situation" that is preventing officials from getting to the hazardous materials to assess what remains.

23 crew members still on board the Dali

Rebecca Cohen

Homendy said 23 people, including 21 crew members and two pilots, were on board the Dali when it crashed into the bridge.

The crew remains on board the ship, which the NTSB investigation team boarded earlier today as a part of its investigation.

The people on the vessel have power, Homendy said, but the ship cannot move.

2 more bridge collapse victims identified

Rebecca Cohen

Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, who was from Mexico and lived in Baltimore, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, who was from Guatemala and lived in Dundalk, Maryland, were identified as the men who recovered from the water this morning.

Both of their families have been notified, said Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. with the Maryland State Police.

All six of the people presumed dead after the bridge collapse are believed to be from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

2 victims recovered; recovery efforts now a salvage operation

Rebecca Cohen

Searchers in the Port of Baltimore found two victims shortly before 10 a.m. today, Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. with the Maryland State Police said in an update this afternoon.

The victims were in a red pickup that was trapped in 25 feet of water near what once was the middle of the bridge, he said.

Officials are moving from a recovery mission to a salvage operation at the scene, Butler said, because it is no longer safe for divers to navigate or operate around the debris and concrete in the port.

Scans from sonar vehicles have led officials to believe the vehicles still trapped underwater are encased in concrete and the structures that crashed down early yesterday.

Butler said that responding officers have "exhausted all search efforts" to recover the victims and that divers stopped searching the water at around 4 p.m. today.

Brother of Baltimore bridge worker shares frustration over recovery mission

NBC News

The brother of Maynor Suazo, one of the six workers who vanished following the collapse of the Maryland bridge, shared his frustration and heartbreak while he and his family wait for updates.


Ten vessels stuck in the Port of Baltimore

Rebecca Cohen

Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, 10 vessels are stuck in the Port of Baltimore, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, including 3 bulk carriers, 1 vehicle carrier, 2 general cargo ships, 1 oil/chemical tanker and 3 logistics naval vessels.

The ship that took the bridge down is still in the Port of Baltimore, as well, according to the BTS.

An additional 12 vessels are in the Port, but are not stuck behind the bridge, BTS said. One vehicle carrier is in the port but outside of the bridge, and 9 bulk carriers, 1 vehicle carrier and 2 general cargo vessels are anchored beyond the collapsed bridge.

NTSB to hold news conference at 8 p.m. ET

Marlene Lenthang

Homendy will hold a news conference on the cargo vessel Dali's crash and the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse at 8 p.m. ET.

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (1)

Mexico supporting families of 3 Mexican construction workers impacted in bridge collapse

Marlene Lenthang

Nicole Duarte

Marlene Lenthang and Nicole Duarte

Mexico is supporting the families of the three Mexican nationals affected by the Baltimore bridge collapse.

Three of the eight construction workers who were working on the bridge when it collapsed are of Mexican nationality, the nation’s secretary of foreign affairs said in a statement today.

One, from Michoacán, was rescued and is recovering from his injuries. The other two, who hailed from Veracruz and Michoacán, remain missing.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a news conference this morning that the government is in communication with their families, supporting them and offering assistance from the diplomatic corps in Baltimore and Washington.

“The head of the Consular Section, Rafael Laveaga Rendón, traveled to the city of Baltimore to provide support to the families of the workers, who have requested respect for their privacy at this difficult time,” the statement said.

Buttigieg says he can't estimate yet when Baltimore's port will reopen

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that he can't estimate yet when the Port of Baltimore will be reopened.

During a White House briefing today, he was asked by reporters several times if it would take days, weeks or months to resume operations at the port and he declined to answer. He noted that $100 million to $200 million of value comes through the port daily and officials are most concerned about the impact on workers' wages, which he said is about $2 million daily.

Vice Adm. Peter Gautier, deputy commandant for operations for the Coast Guard, who joined the briefing, said that the main challenge now is to remove the large trusses and steel, from the bridge, from the bow of the ship.

Buttigieg said he also couldn't estimate how much rebuilding the bridge might cost, but said it's "likely" that the administration will turn to Congress to ask lawmakers to replenish an emergency relief account from the infrastructure law.

Buttigieg said he doesn't "have dollar estimates yet," but said there are "provisions that allow us to begin releasing funding even while that is being determined." He said he expects Maryland's Transportation Department to submit a request this afternoon for emergency funding.

"We will be processing that immediately to start getting them what they need," he said.

Dali ship pilot didn’t notice anything off before engines failed

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (3)
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (4)

Tom Llamas

Marlene Lenthang

Tom Llamas and Marlene Lenthang

The cargo ship Dali that hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge had suffered a “blackout” and engine failure before it crashed, Clay Diamond, executive director of the American Pilots' Association, said today.

The Dali had departed from the Baltimore harbor pier at 12:30 a.m. and suffered a “complete blackout” at 1:25 a.m. — "lost engine power, all electricity, they were a dead ship essentially," Diamond said.

Shortly after, the emergency generator kicked on-emergency lighting, steering, and navigation equipment, which is when the lights on the ship flickered back on.However, the ship’s engines never came back on, Diamond said.

The pilot shifted the rudder port, meaning left, and ordered the port anchor be dropped to slow the vessel and keep it from drifting right, and the pilot radioed to have the bridge closed.

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (5)

Diamond noted this was the first time the pilot, who has more than 10 years of experience in the role, was in charge ofa deadship, but it is a situation pilots train for.

The pilot had an apprentice on board, who was essentially new having started in the role Feb. 1. Diamond said the apprentice was observing, not navigating, and it would be incorrect to say there were two pilots on board, which officials have previously described.

The pilot didn’t notice anything strange when he left the pier inside the port of Baltimore, Diamond noted.

“[The pilot's] doing as well as you can expect, this is a horrifying thing to go through,” Diamond said. The pilot has spoken with the Coast Guard, Maryland state officials and NTSB investigators.

Insurance will cover some of bridge rebuilding cost: Treasury secretary

Marlene Lenthang

Insurance payments will partially cover the cost of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

“My expectation would be that ultimately, insurance, there’ll be insurance payments, in part to cover this, but we don’t want to allow worrying about where the financing is coming to hold up reconstruction,” she said on MSNBC today.

“We have the supply chain task force that actually will be meeting this afternoon to review what they know about the likely impact, but we’re monitoring this very closely and prepared to take any steps that can be helpful,” Yellen added.

She echoed President Joe Biden’s vow to get the bridge back up and running as soon as possible, saying: “President Biden has indicated that we will do everything as quickly as we possibly can to reopen the port which is, as you said, one of the most important in the United States.”

Construction worker remembers missing peers as 'great husbands, fathers, sons'

Didi Martinez

Moises Diaz, a worker for Brawner Builders, the company that employed the six missing construction workers in the Baltimore bridge collapse, remembered his fallen peers as “great husbands, fathers, sons.”

“We are very worried because they were great co-workers,” he said in a statement shared with NBC News, recalling them as “respectful, responsible with their work, their families and friendships.”

Diaz said that the last time he saw his co-worker Miguel Luna was Friday and that he had last spoken to Maynor Suazo on Monday afternoon.

He said that he formerly held the shift the workers died in, but recently changed shifts because of his church schedule.

Sister of Maryland bridge worker: He ‘was everything to us’

Daniella Silva

The sister of Maynor Suazo, one of the six workers who vanished following the collapse of the Maryland bridge, said her brother was “the driving force of my family” and “an exemplary father.”

Maynor Suazo, a father of two, was originally from Honduras.

Norma Suazo told Telemundo through tears today that her brother was “everything to us” and the sibling she was always the most attached to.

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (8)

“He gave us strength for everything,” she said in Spanish, in between tears.

“He fought day after day for our family to get ahead,” Suazo said. “He was a good brother, a good son, an exemplary father.”

Maynor Suazo’s brother-in-law, who was also present, said the man “leaves a very great legacy” and “has been a great example for many people.”

Two friends recall 'disturbing' moment bridge fell, just 30 minutes after they drove over it

Marlene Lenthang

Christian Miller and Toby Gutermuthhad driven over the Francis Scott Key Bridge just 30 minutes before it fell early yesterday, and captured the terrifying collapse on video.

The friends were at Fort Armistead Park listening to music and getting ready to fish when they noticed something odd.

“I see what I thought was cargo falling off of the front of the ship into the water causing some water to splash, so I started recording that, not knowing that it was actually the cargo ship hitting one of the columns on the bridge, and sure enough I got the whole thing on video. The whole bridge coming down. It was scary,” Gutermuth said on NBC News Now.

“My stomach just kind of sank. It was a pretty disturbing sight,” Miller said recalling how they heard debris fall, metal scraping and saw the lights go out on the bridge.

Gutermuth said the catastrophe was “something you only think you’d ever see in a movie.”

The pair extended prayers to the families impacted, with Miller adding, “Hopefully, we recover from this as a community.”

Divers haven't entered the water under bridge yet

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (9)
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (10)

Tom Llamas

Marlene Lenthang

Tom Llamas and Marlene Lenthang

BALTIMORE —No divers from any agency have entered the water at the scene of the wreckage of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge yet, officials said.

The FBI is supporting the recovery effort with its diver team and ROV’s —remotely operated vehicles — to find targets in the water, such as the shadow of cars or human remains.

“The debris field is pretty sizable and I know that’s why they’re hesitant to send divers down because some of the debris is still shifting, the heavy weight of the rocks,” Supervisory Special Agent Brian Hudson, the program manager for the FBI’s Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team, told NBC News today. “It’s dark, so we’re not getting great camera footage from our ROV footage, but the sonar still shows up very well.”

So far, he said they’ve marked some “interesting targets,” but it’s not clear when divers will enter the water to scope those out.Conditions for diving are also a challenge with visibility essentially black, strong currents, cold temperatures and the expansive size of the debris field.

Hudson said “it’s possible” to recovery the bodies of the missing and the water search could last a week.

“We’re going to use the sensory imaging of the sonars to find targets that look like vehicles, look like remains. Once those images are found, we’ll tag them with GPS. Usually we’ll send an ROV down to visually confirm if possible with the video camera. Once we got a visual confirmation, we can use the manipulator claws of the ROV to latch onto something, and that gives the divers a through line into the water and they can go down and work," he explained.

Maryland flag lowered to half-staff

Julia Jester

The Maryland flag has been lowered to half-staff, Moore announced just before 11 a.m.

"We have spoken to the families, prayed with them, and assured them that our state will mobilize every resource to bring them closure," the governor wrote, echoing Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott's earlier commitment to the victims' loved ones.

Nearby marina and restaurant offer support to first responders

Daniel Arkin

Anchor Bay East Marina and the Hard Yacht Cafe, two local destinations just a short drive away from what was once the Francis Scott Key Bridge, plan to offer a range of services to first responders.

Bathrooms and showers will be available for all first responders. All first responders will receive a 50% discount on food purchases, according to a post from the marina and the restaurant on Facebook. The fuel dock will be open around the clock.

"There is very little to say at the moment, but we are focused to do what we can as a group to support everyone involved," the marina and the cafe said in a joint statement. "We pray for the individuals, families and first responders affected by this disaster."

Baltimore mayor promises to give families ‘closure they deserve'

Julia Jester

Scott posted on X that he will spend today continuing to help coordinate response efforts, including the work to recover all six victims.

"They are working around the clock to do everything in our power to provide these families with the closure they deserve and this city will stand with them through this, every step of the way," he wrote.

Maryland lawmakers to propose emergency aid for port workers

Julia Jester

“Weare drafting an emergency bill to provide for income replacement for workers impacted by this travesty,” Maryland state Senate President Bill Fergusonposted on social mediathis morning.

The Port of Baltimore provides jobs for roughly 15,000 workers in the region and processes more than $80 billion in goods each year. Ferguson said the economic stability and loss cannot be understated.

"Yesterday I spent hours talking to labor leaders, dock workers, small business owners, and large port industry leaders who all had the exact same message: 'We must unlock the channel to the Port of Baltimore," he wrote. "They’re right. And until we do, there is enormous cost to families.”

Recovery mission resumes in difficult conditions

Patrick Smith

Underwater drones and helicopter pilots went back to the task of finding the bodies of six construction workers still missing after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge yesterday.

A large search operation paused around 7:30 p.m. yesterday as darkness made already tough conditions near-impossible for specialist teams.

Maryland State Police spokesperson Elena Russo confirmed to The Associated Press before 7:30 a.m. today that “recovery efforts are underway.”

And the mission will be made that much harder by heavy rain, patchy fog and temperatures in the 40s.

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (13)

Maryland governor praises first responders for saving 'countless lives'

Daniel Arkin

In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, Moore hailed the quick actions of the cargo ship’s crew, particularly the last-minute mayday call that likely helped prevent even more casualties.

“The fact that they were able to stop cars from coming on to the bridge, that saved countless lives because had ... more cars been on that bridge when it collapsed, this would have turned a catastrophic incident into an even more catastrophic incident,” the Democratic governor said. “So, the debt of gratitude that we all have towards these first responders, it’s incalculable.”

NTSB chief and investigators to go aboard the Dali cargo ship today

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (15)

Tom Costello

BALTIMORE — The chair of the National Transport Safety Board and a team of investigators plan to be on board the stricken Dali cargo ship later today to interview crew members and gather evidence.

Jennifer L. Homendy told NBC News this morning that her team would be looking at a range of issues, including what protections, if any, the bridge support structures had and whether they should have been more robust.

Homendy said the data recorder that has been recovered was a modern device that could reveal a wide range of facts to investigators, including the ship's positioning and speed, and what might have happened to its power.

"It’s quite a bit of information, throttle position, you, you name it. And that will help us enable us to begin to put together a timeline of events that occurred prior to the striking of the bridge," she said.

Homendy also said her team would look at how the Key Bridge was destroyed by the loss of a single support pylon and how similar disasters could be prevented elsewhere in the country.

"That is exactly what we’re going to be looking at is that type of infrastructure to prevent this type of collapse ... from occurring," she said.

An NTSB team boarded the ship in a preliminary visit last night, but the agency hopes to get much of its work done today.

She also said the NTSB would look into the suggestion that contaminated fuel may have played a role in the tragedy, as reported by The Wall Street Journal last night.

There will be no quick conclusion, however: She said the investigation could take up to two years to complete.

'They they were fathers, they were sons, they were husbands': Maryland governor on meeting families of the missing workers

Patrick Smith

Moore said he has met and prayed with the families of the six construction workers who are missing and feared dead following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge yesterday.

Speaking on NBC's "TODAY" show this morning, he said these were "people who simply just went to work yesterday to work on potholes."

"They had no idea that them going to work was gonna turn to a deadly occurrence," he said.

He continued: "They they were fathers, they were sons, they were husbands, They were people who their families relied on."

Moore said he told the families he would put every available resource into the search and rescue mission, which has since been called off.

"But now that we’ve transitioned to a recovery mission, I’m going to make sure that we’re going to put every possible resource to bring a sense of closure to these families," he said.

Moore echoed the words of Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott who yesterday called the law enforcement officers who stopped traffic on both sides of the bridge "heroes."

"This was true heroism," Moore said, adding that countless lives were saved. "You know, when we say that that we are, we are Maryland tough and we are Baltimore strong."

Moore added that a warning was sent to the workers on the bridge. It remains unclear how or why they were still on the bridge at the time of the collision.

"It unfolded in seconds, minutes, as we well know," he added.

Moore would not speculate on how long it might take for a new bridge to be built, but declared: "We are going to get this done."

NTSB has recovered ship's voyage recorder data

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (17)

Tom Costello

BALTIMORE — National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy tells NBC News that the agency has recovered the Dali cargo ship's voyage recorder data.

The recorder preserves 12 hours of information covering the ship’s movements and operations, along with conversations that took place on the vessel.

Mexico confirms some missing construction workers are Mexican

Patrick Smith

Mexico has confirmed that some of the six missing construction workers are Mexican.

In a post on X late yesterday, the Mexican Embassy in Washington said: "There are six workers missing, including Mexican, Guatemalan and Salvadoran people. The authorities will resume search work tomorrow."

Yesterday, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S, Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, said that his country expressed "our solidarity with all those affected by this devastating accident."

Guatemala has also confirmed that two of the missing are Guatemalan.

Maryland DOT warns motorists to expect longer journey times after bridge collapse

Patrick Smith

The Maryland Department of Transportation has confirmed what locals knew within seconds of seeing the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: it will mean longer driving times in the area.

"Drivers are encouraged to prepare for extra commuting time until further notice," the agency said in a statement last night.

The agency's travel advice is that:

  • The outer loop I-695 closure has shifted to exit 1/Quarantine Road (past the Curtis Creek Drawbridge) to allow for enhanced local traffic access.
  • The inner loop of I-695 remains closed at Maryland state Route 157 (Peninsula Expressway). Additionally, the ramp from state Route 157 to the inner loop of I-695 will be closed.
  • Drivers should use I-95 (Fort McHenry Tunnel) or I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel) for north/south routes. Commercial vehicles carrying materials that are prohibited in the tunnel crossings, including recreation vehicles carrying propane, should plan on using I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) between Essex and Glen Burnie. This will add significant driving time.

Guatemala confirms two of the missing workers are Guatemalan, has spoken to their families

Patrick Smith

Guatemala has confirmed that two of its citizens were among the six construction workers who were working on the bridge at the time of its collapse and are now missing.

Neither have been identified, but in a statement, the Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Ministry said they were a 26-year-old, originally from San Luis, Petén, in Guatemala and a 35-year-old originally from Camotán, Chiquimula. The ministry has spoken to the brothers of both missing workers.

“Among the six workers who are still missing, it is believed that there are people of Mexican origin, from Honduras, El Salvador and the two Guatemalans,” the statement said.

The Guatemalan Consulate General in Maryland said it had been told in a report that the boat sent a signal to stop traffic at both ends of the bridge.

Baltimore community shaken after bridge collapse leaves 6 missing

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (21)

Tom Llamas

BALTIMORE — Six construction workers, who were plunged into the murky waters, are presumed dead after the cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. NBC’s Tom Llamas spoke with residents and workers who were stunned by the disaster.

The Key Bridge collapse is the latest in a long line of tragic bridge incidents

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (22)
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (23)
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (24)

The Associated Press

Patrick Smith

The Associated Press and Patrick Smith

The bridge collapse is not the first major incident involving ships or barges hitting bridges in the United States.

From 1960 to 2015, there were 35 major bridge collapses worldwide due to ship or barge collision, with a total of 342 people killed,according to a 2018 reportfrom the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure. Eighteen of those collapses happened in the U.S.

These include when barges being pushed by a towboat in dense fog hit and displaced the Big Bayou Canot railroad bridge near Mobile, Alabama, on Sept. 22, 1993. Minutes later, an Amtrak train with 220 people aboard hit the displaced bridge and derailed, killing 47 people and injuring 103.

In 1980, the 609-foot freighter Summit Venture lost its radar in the Tampa Bay before it sheared off a support of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, dropping a 1,400-foot section of concrete roadway during the morning rush hour. Seven vehicles, including a bus with 26 aboard, fell 150 feet into the water, killing 35 people.

In 2002, a barge hit the Interstate 40 bridge over the Arkansas River, causing a 500-foot section to collapse and sending vehicles into the water, killing 14 people and injuring 11.

Construction firm with six workers missing says bridge collapse was 'completely unforeseen'

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (26)
Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (27)

Patrick Smith

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (29)

The Associated Press

Patrick Smith and The Associated Press

A senior executive at the company that employed the six missing construction workers said that the firm takes safety seriously and that the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was totally unexpected.

"This was so completely unforeseen," Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president at Brawner Builders, told The Associated Press.

"We don’t know what else to say. We take such great pride in safety, and we have cones and signs and lights and barriers and flaggers."

Prayer vigil held for victims of Baltimore bridge collapse

NBC News

A prayer vigil was held for the victims of the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore yesterday. Community leaders and members gathered at Mount Olive Baptist Church of Turner Station to also honor the first responders at the scene of the disaster.

Catch up with NBC News' coverage of the Francis Scott key Bridge collapse

NBC News

A rare mayday preceded Baltimore bridge collapse: ‘I couldn’t think of a worse situation’

Video of the ship, emergency radio transmissions and analysis by maritime veterans paint a picture of a disastrous scenario —one that could have been much worse.

Why the Baltimore bridge stood little chance against a fully loaded cargo ship

Although bridges are designed to withstand impacts from ships, experts said, some events go beyond what a structure can handle

Unfounded conspiracy theories spread online after Baltimore bridge collapse

Major news events — like the pandemic, natural disasters and mass shootings — now consistently serve as fodder for fringe figures.

Construction workers at Baltimore bridge are still unaccounted for, drawing concern from co-workers

“It’s a blessing I wasn’t on there, but it comes at the cost of somebody else,” said a construction foreman who last worked on the bridge two weeks ago.

Customers from the East Coast to the Midwest could see costly impact from Baltimore bridge collapse

“The Key Bridge and Port of Baltimore are critical components of our nation’s infrastructure and supply chain,” the American Trucking Association said.

The twisted wreckage in Baltimore stands as a memorial as people gather to grieve

Many woke this morning to the frightening news that the Francis Scott Key Bridge had been struck by an immense cargo ship and collapsed.

Biden says he wants federal government to pay for rebuilding of Baltimore bridge after cargo ship crash

The president, is headed to North Carolina on Tuesday, said he also plans to visit Baltimore as “quickly” as he can.


Baltimore community shaken after 6 presumed dead

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (30)

Tom Llamas

BALTIMORE —Six construction workers, who were plunged into a murky river, are presumed dead after a cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Residents and workers were stunned by the disaster.

Maryland governor pledges every effort to recover victims

Phil Helsel

Moore vowed that he would keep a promise, now more grim, to family members to use every resource available to find the six people presumed dead in today’s bridge collapse.

He had expressed hope earlier yesterday that an extensive search by boat and air could find and rescue the six people missing after the Francis Scott Key Bridgewas struck by a container ship and collapsed into the Patapsco River.

“We promised them when we met with them — that we were putting every possible asset and tool at our disposal to help find their family members,” Moore said after the search was suspended.

“And, so, this evening, we wanted to let them know that even though we’ve transitioned from a search and rescue to now a recovery mission, we will use every asset to make sure they find a sense of closure,” he said. “And that’s a commitment that we will keep for these families.”

The active search and rescue was suspended at 7:30 p.m. yesterday, the Coast Guard said, and the effort moved to a recovery phase.

Officers were about to alert the construction crew when bridge collapsed

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (32)

The Associated Press

Radio traffic obtained from theBroadcastify.comarchive indicates officers were just about to alert a construction crew when a major bridge in Baltimore collapsed after being hit by a container ship that had lost power.

The Maryland Transportation Authority first responder radio traffic includes a dispatcher putting out a call saying a ship had lost its steering ability and asking officers to stop all traffic. It took officers less than two minutes to stop traffic on the bridge.

One officer who had stopped traffic radioed that he was going to drive onto the bridge to notify the construction crew once a second officer arrived. But seconds later, a frantic officer radioed that the bridge had collapsed.

The six people who are now presumed dead were part of the construction crew, which was filling potholes on the bridge.

Container ship passed foreign inspections last year

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (33)

Josh Cradduck

Dennis Romero

Josh Cradduck and Dennis Romero

The container ship passed two foreign port inspections in 2023, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

The inspections took place in June and September, but the locations were not divulged by the port where the ship, the Dali, is flagged.

“In the June 2023 inspection, a faulty monitor gauge for fuel pressure was rectified before the vessel departed the port,” the port authority said in a statement today.

In June, the vessel was scheduled for an administrative assessment that considers how it’s been regulated under a third-party “classification society” empowered by Singapore to keep an eye on it, the port said.

Its classification society is the Japan-based Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, known as ClassNK. It oversees more than 9,000 ships.

The 980-foot ship was built by Hyundai in 2014 and has a March 5, 2015, “date of build,” ClassNK information shows.

It was given a number of certificates allowing it to carry various items and goods March 4, according to the organization. The information also shows that in the last few years, it has undergone multiple “surveys” of its systems, apparently to determine if they’re working properly.

Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse: Two victims recovered; NTSB recovers ship’s voyage recorder data (2024)

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