When the sun rose after the devastating crash, the extent of the damage became clear. Photo: James Ronayne

Two Victims Recovered, Four Still Missing in Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse, Patapsco River Impassable

The Key Bridge, spanning the Patapsco River across the channel that leads to and from the Port of Baltimore, is no more. A massive, 984-foot-long, 150-foot wide container ship lost power and struck a bridge support, causing the entire bridge to come crashing down into the water.

Sadly, six contract employees who were doing bridge repairs at the time were lost in the disaster. Emergency response boats and dive teams worked all day Tuesday to search for the missing workers. Two were later recovered, but the remaining four are believed to be entombed amid the bridge wreckage. Two employees were safely taken to the hospital.

Captain Bobby LaPin reports from outside the Port of Baltimore Tuesday with updates on the disaster from federal, state, and local leaders. Watch below:

A Bay Pilot was at the controls of the Dali. According to standard practice, pilots move ships in and out of Baltimore due to their skill and familiarity with local waters. Sometimes commercial tugboats pull alongside the ships to guide them, but that’s not required as long as Bay pilots are present.

According to, the Singapore-flagged Dali had arrived at the Port of Baltimore from Norfolk’s Virginia International Gateway terminal two days earlier and was leaving the Patapsco again when tragedy struck.

Gov. Moore confirmed that the crew of the ship notified authorities of a power outage. As it approached the bridge at 8 knots, toll operators were able to stop traffic from coming onto the bridge. Gov. Moore said, “I’m thankful for the folks that, once the warning came up that there was a mayday, by being able to stop cars from coming over the bridge … these people are heroes. They saved lives last night.”

Bay photographers and Chesapeake Bay Magazine contributors Jay Fleming and James Ronayne woke up before the sun to get to the scene by boat. They got as close as they safely could with the help of TikTok waterman Luke McFadden. Ronayne describes what he saw as looking “like a war zone”.

Fleming tells us, “When I saw the news early in the morning, I knew that I had to get out and shoot pictures to document the incident. The tragic collapse of the key bridge is an event that will leave its mark on Maryland history.”