Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore, maryland, Mayor Brandon Scottt

Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Being Struck By Ship

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott declared a state of emergency and the Coast Guard has launched a search-and-rescue operation.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, located in Baltimore, collapsed after being hit by a container ship early March 26.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the bridge was struck around 1:20 a.m. after the ship hit a support column. As the bridge collapsed, seven cars reportedly fell into the Patapsco River, prompting authorities to launch a search-and-rescue operation.

The mayor of Baltimore, Brandon M. Scott, has declared a state of emergency.

CNN reported that two individuals were rescued from the Patapsco River, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace said at a press conference. One was not injured, but the other person was taken to a local trauma center and is listed in “very serious condition,” he said.

Officials believe that as many as seven people have not been found, and it is believed that several vehicles may have fallen into the river, including one as large as a tractor-trailer, according to Kevin Cartwright, director of communications of the Baltimore City Fire Department.

“We have an unspeakable tragedy,” Scott told CNN. “There were individuals working on the bridge at the time. There are cars in the water—our fire department has confirmed that as they lead this search-and-rescue mission through sonar. That is where our focus is—it’s about those souls, those people we’re trying to find and get out of this water.”

The container ship is a 984-foot-long a Singaporean-flagged container vessel known as a DALI, public affairs officer for the U.S. Coast Guard’s 5th District, Kimberly Reaves, said. At the time of the accident, there were construction workers doing repair work on the bridge, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said Tuesday morning. There was no indication of how many were present when it happened.

The ship management company Synergy Group said none of the crew members on the ship were injured.

According to WBAL-TV, the state of emergency issued by Scott  will remain in place for 30 days.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was built in 1977. It is more than 1.2 miles long, and its main section spans 1,200 feet. According to the National Steel Bridge Alliance, it was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world. The bridge has approximately 31,000 vehicles that cross it daily, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The scene is being streamed live below.