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Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses in a matter of seconds after cargo ships slams into column

A massive search and rescue effort is underway in Baltimore, Maryland after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed overnight.

Surveillance footage captured the moment a cargo ship struck a column supporting the bridge, sending vehicles and people into the cold, dark water.

More details below.

Early Tuesday morning, around 1:30 a.m., the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a 1.6 mile bridge that spans the Patapsco River, collapsed after it was struck by a large ship.

The bridge folded into the river in just a few seconds.

The horrifying moment was captured on camera.

A search and rescue mission began almost immediately with crews looking for at least seven people, but possibly up to 20.

“We are in the midst of managing a mass casualty multi agency incident here,” said Kevin Cartwright, director of communications of the Baltimore City Fire Department. “Unfortunately, we understand that there are up to 20 individuals who may be in the Patapsco river as well as multiple vehicles,” he told CNN.

Paul J. Wiedefeld, Maryland’s Secretary of Transportation, confirmed at the time of the collapse there had been a construction crew working on the bridge.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – MARCH 26: A cargo ship is shown after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rescuers are searching for at least seven people, authorities say, while two others have been pulled from the Patapsco River. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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“This is an unthinkable tragedy,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said during a news conference Tuesday morning. “This is a tragedy you can never imagine. Never did you think you would see the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of a movie … Our focus should be the preservation of life.”

As the sun rose Tuesday morning, authorities began their search and rescue efforts.

“The conditions are difficult,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski told CNN. “We’re talking about a deep channel port. It’s 40, 50 feet of water, strong currents. The weather is windy, the water is cold. And so we certainly worry about those who are in the water, not to mention the fall from the bridge.”

As of 9:00 a.m. EDT, two people had been pulled from the water. One person was said to be in “very serious” condition, while the second person was reportedly unhurt.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – MARCH 26: The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge is shown after being struck by a cargo ship on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rescuers are searching for at least seven people, authorities say, while two others have been pulled from the Patapsco River. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said there were “no indications” the collision was intentional.

This is a developing story.

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