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The collapsing of the bridge in Baltimore has everyone talking
Patrick Gillespie
An image of the Francis Scott Key Bridge before it collapsed.

At approximately 1:30AM on March 26th in Baltimore, Maryland, the Francis Scott Key Bridge was struck by a freighter and collapsed. The freighter, a large ship that carries freight containers, was reported to have lost power two times before it collided into the bridge. The captain of the ship tried to slow it down moments before it hit, but was unable to do so, with the power outages making it difficult.

The state’s Governor, Wes Moore, declared a state of emergency shortly after the incident occurred. Baltimore’s mayor Brandon Scott announced they were going right into action and rescuing the people that fell into the water. The United States Coast Guard was a part of rescuing the victims involved. There were at least eight people that were sent into the water, with only two lives being saved.

A lot of images and videos have surfaced all over the internet, showing the true damage of the wreckage, both from afar and up close. One post from X user (formerly known as Twitter) suppressednws shows a video of a close-up view of the freighter after it wrecked.

News of the event spread like wildfire, and it was a tragedy that many families have to recover from. Events that result in deaths will garner a lot of attention across the internet. Many posters on social media shared their sympathy with the people who lost their loved ones to the accident. However, some people are taking to creating theories about it, wondering if it was intentional.

Finding who’s liable for the event could become very difficult…

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was named after Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote the National Anthem. He lived from 1779 to 1843, and was an attorney for the District of Columbia. Considering that the bridge was named after him, some people have theorized that the incident was a direct attack on the United States and its freedom.

X user drshannonkroner said “Does anyone else feel like the cargo ship bridge collapse was planned? Or a terrorist attack to purposely destroy an important escape route in and out of Baltimore?… The bridge is the Francis Scott Key Bridge, named after the person who wrote the lyrics to America’s National Anthem… Something about this seems very off”.

The internet has given easy access to people that can theorize and create something more out of a tragedy that claimed lives. Some are less than enthused with the turn that the subject of the bridge collapse has taken, though. X user meachamdr said “In 1980, a cargo ship collided into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Tampa Bay. 35 people lost their lives, tragically. It was an accident. Funny how we didn’t require insane conspiracy theories back then.”

The accessibility of the internet and media has given the world many amazing things, including the ability to see news unfold right in front of our eyes. However, with the rapid spreading of news, both misinformation and disinformation can spread just as fast. Though even with theories taking place in some conversations, it doesn’t take away from the fact that people have died from the tragedy.

In the final hours of the 26th, they announced that rescue missions were turning more into recovery operations. Four people are presumed dead; the only ones that fell into the water were bridge construction workers, who were reported to be working on potholes. The Rear Admiral of the 5th Coast Guard District, Shannon Gilreath, spoke to reporters in a news conference Tuesday evening. “I’d like to announce tonight that based on the length of time that we’ve gone in this search, the extensive search efforts we’ve put into it, the water temperature, that at this point we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive.”

The Baltimore community gathered for a vigil to honor the victims of the bridge collapse the night of the 26th.

The ship that collided with the bridge was from Singapore, called the Dali. It was 985 feet long, and carried several tons of freight and metal. The wreck happened on the Patapsco River in Baltimore. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, but it has been flagged as an accident. There is no suspected terrorism behind the collision, as said by Governor Moore.

President Joe Biden has called upon Congress, insisting that the federal government pay for the costs of rebuilding the bridge. Thousands of jobs depend on it, and Biden plans on getting it done “as soon as possible”.

The collapsing of the bridge may bring trouble with the national supply chain as it was a key trade lane for the east coast. Since the Patapsco River was a major route for international trade, an alternate channel is being prepared at the site to ensure that ship vessels can continue making their way in and out of the ports. After the event, a large crane was transported to the area, helping to clear the debris of the wreckage.

Pieces are already starting to be removed from the ship, progress being made on clearing the essential trade channel. Sonar imaging shows the wreckage that lies on the bottom of the river. Rebuilding the bridge could cost more than $1 billion. Finding who’s liable for the event could become very difficult, as the cargo ship’s owners are seeking to limit their accountability for the deaths caused. They are also demanding that lawsuits be capped at the price of the ship.

As the cleaning crew continues to work on clearing the river from debris, families continue to mourn their lost loved ones. There’s hope that more will be pulled from the water as the debris clears.

Rebuilding will be difficult, and considering the bridge was a major source of transportation for Baltimore, it has had a giant impact on the people of the city. The nation’s leaders acted fast in providing immediate support to the community to clear out the wreckage and to search for anyone in the water, both living and dead. More information will be given as the days pass and recovery and cleaning efforts continue to be in effect.

About the Contributor
Finley Wiseman
Finley Wiseman, Reporter
The only thing keeping me going this year is my paycheck.