On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Baltimore Bridge collapses after being hit by a container ship, and six construction workers are still missing. They went missing after a container ship, measuring 948 feet long and named Dali and flagged under Singapore, collided with a support tower of the Francis Scott Key Bridge around 1:30 a.m. while leaving Baltimore Harbor for Sri Lanka.

The Incident: What Happened?

Video on X shows the ship’s power was turned off and on again several times before hitting bridge support. 

Due to this incident, collapsed of a portion of the 2.6 km bridge, 20 people and numerous vehicles fell into the Patapsco River below. Dive teams had to stop their search for survivors about 18 hours after the accident. The dark water, full of wreckage, made it too dangerous to continue. Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland State Police made this decision. 

Reactions and Response

The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry stated that two of the missing workers were Guatemalan nationals. One is 26 years old, and the other is 35 years old. Additionally, the other missing workers include individuals from Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, as mentioned by the ministry.

We will keep asking the authorities for updates on the search and rescue operations to locate the missing Guatemalans,” state Eduardo Cuevas, Guatemalan Foreign Ministry.

During a press conference held as dawn broke in Baltimore, Mayor Brandon M. Scott described Tuesday’s crash as an “unthinkable tragedy.” He expressed disbelief, saying, “Never would you imagine” witnessing the Baltimore Bridge Collapses. He likened the scene to something from an action movie.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency, stating that the cargo ship lost power around the time of the collision with the Key Bridge. The governor praised officials for stopping traffic and preventing more vehicles from falling and called them heroes for saving lives. Baltimore is collaborating with a government team to deploy federal resources from the Biden administration swiftly. Governor Moore says the bridge met safety standards before the accident, and also, its rebuilding will take time.

US President Joe Biden expressed his intention to visit Baltimore promptly and emphasized the need to prioritize search and rescue operations. 

I’ve instructed my team to do everything possible to reopen the port and reconstruct the bridge as quickly as humanly possible.” 

President Biden says the bridge collapse was an accident and promises the federal government will pay to rebuild it. However, he noted that congressional approval would be required for the spending.

Investigation and Accountability

Jennifer Homendy, NTSB chair, says 24 investigators and agency personnel are at the scene of the accident. However, they refrained from boarding the ship during search-and-rescue operations. She mentioned that safety personnel from Singapore would arrive in Baltimore on Wednesday. 

The ship previously hit a quay in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2016 while leaving the North Sea container terminal. Inspection in 2023 in Chile found issues with Dali’s propulsion and auxiliary machinery, per the Equasis website.

Importance of Baltimore Bridge

The collapsed bridge was a crucial route for drivers travelling between New York and Washington to bypass downtown Baltimore. This bridge was one of the three roads that span the Harbour. Also, 31000 vehicles pass through the bridge every day, and 11.3 million vehicles pass annually.

Impact and Consequences

The Port of Baltimore announced that ship traffic was stopped until further notice. It might disrupt supply chains and cause delays in deliveries across the US East Coast. However, trucks are still being handled at its terminals.


Seven container ships were supposed to reach Baltimore by Saturday, as reported by Judah Levine, who leads research at the logistics company Freightos. Also, he mentioned that rerouting cargo to other ports like Philadelphia, Norfolk, or the Port of New York/New Jersey may increase trucking and rail costs. It could also cause congestion at these alternative ports.

Shipping giant Maersk stated in a message that they would not include Baltimore in their services until the area is deemed safe. They mentioned that cargo meant for Baltimore would be unloaded at nearby ports but cautioned customers about possible delays.

Oren Klachkin, an economist at Nationwide Financial Markets, warned that the bridge collapse could disrupt logistics along the East Coast. This may happen due to traffic congestion on Interstate 95, a crucial route for East Coast traffic. While some vehicles can use alternate routes like tunnels, this will lead to delays. 

If congestion occurs and ships are delayed, it could impact importers using these ports”. Also, he mentioned that “Congestion might also increase freight rates for trips between Asia and the US East Coast.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, stated that other East Coast ports should be able to handle the ships that usually go to Baltimore. However, he further mentioned that unexpected disruptions at those ports could cause issues. 


The Baltimore Bridge collapses, triggered by a container ship collision, resulted in tragedy, with six workers presumed dead. Rescue operations were halted due to unsafe conditions. Officials declared a state of emergency, and President Biden pledged federal support for reconstruction. The incident disrupted port operations, impacting supply chains along the East Coast.


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