Key Bridge In Baltimore Collapses After Ship Strike Early Tuesday

BALTIMORE — March 26, 2024

The Baltimore County Fire Department (BCoFD) is aiding the Baltimore City Fire Department in response to a mass casualty incident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge, following a vessel collision resulting in a collapse early this morning.

BCoFD swiftly mobilized numerous water rescue resources just before 2 a.m. in response to reports of a vessel striking the bridge, leading to its collapse. As the incident unfolds, motorists are strongly advised to steer clear of the area surrounding I-695 and the Key Bridge.

BCoFD has deployed numerous water rescue and dive teams from across Baltimore County to the scene, as efforts to provide assistance continue, according to a Facebook post.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) issued information regarding traffic management in the wake of the collapse. The I-695 Key Bridge collapse caused the closure of both the Inner Loop and Outer Loop at strategic points: Outer Loop closed at MD 10 (exit 2) and Inner Loop closed at MD 157/Peninsula Expressway (exit 43).

Motorists relying on the Harbor Crossings are advised to seek alternate routes, either via the I-95 or I-895 tunnels. Additionally, vehicles transporting hazardous materials have been strictly prohibited from utilizing these tunnels, and are instead directed to use the western section of I-695 around the tunnels.

Restrictions for vehicles entering the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and the Ft. McHenry Tunnel have also been repeated, emphasizing prohibitions based on height and width specifications.

The incident comes on the heels of the anniversary of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which opened to traffic on this day in 1977, marking the final link in I-695. Spanning 1.6 miles over the Patapsco River, the bridge holds historical significance, with scholars noting its proximity to where Francis Scott Key drew inspiration to write the Star Spangled Banner during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

Photos by Baltimore County Fire Department and Baltimore City Fire Rescue 1

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