SHIP HITS FRANCIS SCOTT KEY BRIDGE IN MARYLAND CAUSING IT TO COLLAPSE

Fox News reports the Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 in Maryland collapsed into the Baltimore harbor following a “ship strike” early this morning, setting off a search and rescue mission for those inside vehicles that plunged into the chilly waters.

A livestream of the bridge appeared to show a cargo ship colliding with a support beam, causing the bridge to break apart and fall into the Patapsco River. Officials said “upwards of seven” people were missing and that two had been pulled from the water. Multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time, but no update on casualties has been offered.

Paul Wiedefeld, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, told reporters early Tuesday that the FBI was on the scene investigating what caused the ship to ram into the bridge and determined it was not an act of terrorism.

When asked whether the ship lost power before striking the bridge, Wiedefeld said that it was too early in the investigation to tell.

Wiedefeld confirmed there were people on the bridge at the time, though no specific numbers were immediately provided.

Officials are continuing to respond to the catastrophic collapse as an active search and rescue mission, with the U.S. Coast Guard searching for any survivors in the water.

Emergency crews including the U.S. Coast Guard, local first responders, and the FBI were searching for people believed to be in the water.

Officials have described this as a mass casualty event.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said at least two people were pulled from the water following the collapse, with one of them in serious condition.

Wallace said authorities “may be looking for upwards of seven people” but he said that number could change.

The vessel that struck the bridge was a Singapore-flagged cargo ship. The large vessel then caught fire before becoming disabled.

Footage of the incident shows the lights going out multiple times on the vessel in question before impact, suggesting the collision may have been due to a power failure.

The Maryland Transportation Authority said on social media that all lanes are closed in both directions and that traffic is being detoured. Later, it urged drivers to avoid the I-695 southeast corridor and to instead use I-95 or I-895.

The collapse comes just two days after the 47th anniversary of the bridge’s construction, which was completed on March 24, 1977.