The Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse: Here’s Where the Investigation Currently Stands

Published on Mar 26, 2024 at 3:42 pm in Personal Injury.

The Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse: Here's Where the Investigation Currently Stands

The 1.6-mile long Francis Scott Key Bridge, which forms part of the North-South connector, I-695, crashed into the extremely cold waters of the Patapsco River at around 1:30 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, March 26.

Now that daylight has broken after the launch of an initial investigation and search and rescue mission, media reports suggest that there are only two potential survivors.

As many as 20 could still be unaccounted for.

What Happened in the Moments Leading Up to the Water Vessel Colliding into the Bridge

Surveillance camera footage taken by the Port of Baltimore and from other sources shows the large cargo ship stacked several stories high with shipping containers as it approached the bridge, its lights illuminated.

As the water vessel draws near the bridge, it’s unclear if its helm is under the captain’s control as it starts bobbing a bit. Soon after, you can see the water vessel move slightly backward, much like you’d see a car do if it collided with an inanimate object, followed by a plume of smoke billowing from the ship.

Within moments, different portions of the bridge start breaking apart from one another and fall into the waters of the Patapsco River underneath.

Despite it being early in the morning, many vehicles, passenger cars, and tractor-trailers included, can be seen traveling across the bridge at the same time it crashes into the cold waters below.

How Many People Survived the Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse?

As we’re publishing this blog post, we believe that only two people were pulled from the water overnight.

Investigators are still trying to ascertain how many others may still be missing. While there could be as few as seven, as cited above, there could also be as many as 20. The boat’s captain and crew are all on the ship and accounted for.

In terms of the motorists who might have fallen along with their vehicles into the water, Baltimore Fire Department officials noted during a press conference overnight that the SONAR equipment that they’d brought had picked up on the presence of vehicles and their occupants.

It’s unclear if that was before or after the rescue of the two survivors occurred.

Analysts suggest that the probability of individuals inside vehicles with 35-degree ambient temperatures and it being 45 in the water would be unlikely to survive more than an hour post-crash, even if they had access to flotation devices.  It’s unclear what the medical status of the two survivors is.

Holding Responsible Parties Liable for Preventable Boat Accidents

Right now, the investigation into why the cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge is in its early stages.

Some analysts interviewed by news outlets suggest that the water vessel could have lost power and thus an ability to properly navigate the challenging port in the moments preceding the incident. What has investigators a bit concerned, though, is how a boat striking the pylon supports holding up the bridge could have so easily crippled it.

It’s likely that federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will take months to complete their full investigation and issue a report of their findings.

In the meantime, you can be sure that attorneys who regularly handle personal injury cases like these will be conducting their own investigations into what happened as they attempt to identify who to hold responsible for their clients’ injuries and premature deaths.

While we know that the aftermath of this and other unexpected, preventable accidents are challenging to come to terms with, moving quickly is key to preserving the evidence necessary to build a strong case.

If you or your family has been affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge contact our Baltimore law office, Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, right away so we can launch an investigation into who’s responsible.

It’s critically important to protect your rights and recovering maximum compensation for your losses.



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