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Baltimore Key Bridge collapse live updates: Search and rescue efforts suspended

A cargo ship crashed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning, causing a near-total collapse of the span and halting vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore.

A search-and-rescue effort for six people believed to have fallen from the collapsing bridge into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River below has been suspended and will shift to a recovery mission, officials said.


Latest Developments


Mar 27, 7:25 AM

Ship's force 'almost unimaginable,' Secretary Buttigieg says

The force with which a cargo ship hit Baltimore's Key Bridge on Tuesday was "just unimaginable," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday.

"What I do know is that the force of this ship is almost unimaginable," Buttigieg said on "Good Morning America." "This is a vessel that was about 100,000 tons carrying its load. So 200 million lbs. went into this bridge all at once, which is why you had that almost-instant catastrophic result."

As the U.S. works to update bridges around the country, each new generation of bridges is "more resilient than the last," Buttigieg said.

"We are at work to make sure our infrastructure for the future is better prepared for any kind of threat," he said. "Really what we saw yesterday was just unimaginable in terms of the proportion of that ship."

PHOTO: United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg appears on 'Good Morning America,' March 27, 2024. (ABC News)
PHOTO: United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg appears on 'Good Morning America,' March 27, 2024. (ABC News)

Buttigieg had arrived at the scene in Baltimore on Tuesday, saying at the time that the DOT's Maritime Administration would assist with disrupted port, harbor and supply chain operations.

The DOT's Federal Highway Administration will assist with the bridge, he said Tuesday.

He said his "first thoughts" were with the missing construction workers and their families.

"Now they are dealing with news that's just unthinkable," he said.


Mar 27, 5:47 AM

Workers from Guatemala, El Salvador among missing

Construction workers originally from Guatemala and El Salvador are among the six missing after the Key Bridge collapsed in Baltimore, foreign officials and local aid group said.

The two from Guatemala who are missing are a 26-year-old from San Luis, Petén, and a 35-year-old from Camotán, Chiquimula, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement. Their names were not released.

PHOTO: A satellite image shows a closer view of the Dali container ship and a collpased Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Md., March 26, 2024.  (Maxar Technologies/via Reuters)
PHOTO: A satellite image shows a closer view of the Dali container ship and a collpased Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Md., March 26, 2024. (Maxar Technologies/via Reuters)

Another missing worker was identified as Miguel Luna, who is originally from El Salvador, according to Court Appointed Special Advocates, a group that works with immigrants.

"Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, left at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening for work and since, has not come home," the organization said in a press release. "He is a husband, a father of three, and has called Maryland his home for over 19 years."

MORE: 2 Guatemalans, 1 Salvadoran among missing from Baltimore bridge collapse

-ABC News’ Victoria Arancio and Kevin Shalvey


Mar 26, 8:41 PM

Search and rescue efforts to be suspended, move to recovery operation: USCG

The Coast Guard said it is suspending the search and rescue efforts as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for the six missing individuals after the bridge collapse.

"Based on the length of time that we've gone in the search, the extensive search efforts that we put into it, the water temperature -- at this point, we do not believe that we're going to find any of these individuals still alive," Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath told reporters.


The conditions in the water, including low water temperatures and unpredictable currents, have made it dangerous for first responders, authorities said.

PHOTO: In an aerial view, the cargo ship Dali sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Mar. 26, 2024, in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
PHOTO: In an aerial view, the cargo ship Dali sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Mar. 26, 2024, in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Authorities said they plan to conduct recovery efforts starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

"We're hoping to put divers in the water and begin a more detailed search to do our very best to recover those six missing people," Col. Roland Butler with the Maryland State Police said.


Mar 26, 7:08 PM

Carnival temporarily moving Baltimore operations to Norfolk

Carnival is temporarily moving its Baltimore operations to Norfolk, Virginia, amid the rescue and remediation efforts following the bridge collapse, the cruise line said Tuesday.

"Our thoughts remain with the impacted families and first responders in Baltimore," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. "We appreciate the pledge made by President Biden today to dedicate all available resources to reopen Baltimore Harbor to marine traffic as soon as possible. As those plans are finalized, we will update our future cruise guests on when we will return home to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we appreciate the quick response and support from officials in Norfolk."

The move impacts the Carnival Legend ship, which is scheduled to return from its current voyage on Sunday, the company said. The cruise will return to Norfolk with free bus service back to Baltimore, Carnival said.


Mar 26, 5:25 PM

EPA on standby, not aware of any concerns

The regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency is on standby to respond to the aftermath of the bridge collapse if needed but is not aware of any environmental concerns at this time, according to EPA Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs spokesman Shaun Egan.

PHOTO: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Mar. 26, 2024 in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
PHOTO: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Mar. 26, 2024 in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Synergy Marine Group said Tuesday morning that there was no pollution from the ship.

The Coast Guard is the primary federal agency responding and they have not asked for EPA assistance. Coast Guard pollution responders were sent to the scene, and if any releases of fuel or other pollutants are detected, the EPA official said the agency is ready to support that response.

PHOTO: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Mar. 26, 2024 in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
PHOTO: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Mar. 26, 2024 in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The Maryland Department of the Environment said it is "conducting water sampling upriver and downriver of the site."

-ABC News’ Stephanie Ebbs and Beatrice Peterson


Mar 26, 4:09 PM

Harris: 'We are all praying'

Vice President Kamala Harris said she is "praying for the families of those who are missing and all those who have been touched by this tragedy."

PHOTO: FBI divers assisting in the search and rescue at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26,2024. (Obtained by ABC News)
PHOTO: FBI divers assisting in the search and rescue at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26,2024. (Obtained by ABC News)

"I spoke with the governor of Maryland this morning, and we have directed the federal government to use all the resources that are available to assist with the search and rescue, to reopen the port and to rebuild the bridge as quickly as possible," Harris said while making a joint appearance with President Joe Biden at an event in North Carolina.

-ABC News’ Libby Cathey and Justin Ryan Gomez


Mar 26, 4:50 PM

'Very much still a search and rescue mission,' governor says

Fourteen hours after the bridge collapse, crews are still desperately looking for the six people who remain unaccounted for, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"This is very much still a search and rescue mission," Moore said.

PHOTO: Maryland Governor Wes Moore (L) and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott embrace following a press conference at the scene of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Md, Mar. 26, 2024.  (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
PHOTO: Maryland Governor Wes Moore (L) and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott embrace following a press conference at the scene of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Md, Mar. 26, 2024. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

"We had the opportunity to spend time with the families. Had the opportunity to pray with them and pray for them," Moore said. "And the strength of these families is absolutely remarkable."

"We are hopeful and we are with the families," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said.

PHOTO: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
PHOTO: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

"This is no ordinary bridge -- this is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure. It has been part of the skyline of this region for longer than many of us have been alive," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “So the path to normalcy will not be easy, will not be quick, will not be inexpensive. But we will rebuild together."

PHOTO: The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after it struck the bridge in Baltimore on March 26, 2024. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after it struck the bridge in Baltimore on March 26, 2024. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Buttigieg did not give an estimate of how long it may take to resume vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore.


Mar 26, 2:29 PM

Buttigieg meets with responders

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to the scene of the Baltimore bridge collapse, at the invitation of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, according to the Department of Transportation.

Buttigieg posted a photo of him meeting with responders.

An estimated 30,000 vehicles crossed the bridge per day, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

PHOTO: Francis Scott Key Bridge Facts (ABC News, Maryland Transportation Authority, Mark Wilson/Getty)
PHOTO: Francis Scott Key Bridge Facts (ABC News, Maryland Transportation Authority, Mark Wilson/Getty)


Mar 26, 1:58 PM

Personnel on ship alerted officials before collision 'which undoubtedly saved lives': Biden

Personnel on the ship alerted the Maryland Department of Transportation that they lost control of the vessel, and officials were able to close the bridge before it was struck, "which undoubtedly saved lives," President Joe Biden told reporters.

It appears the crash was a "terrible accident," Biden said.

He said the search and rescue operation is the top priority.


"Ship traffic and the Port of Baltimore has been suspended until further notice. And we'll need to clear that channel before the ship traffic can resume," he said.

"It's my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstruction. ... I expect the Congress to support my effort," Biden said.

PHOTO:  In this aerial image, the steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after the bridge collapsed, Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: In this aerial image, the steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after the bridge collapsed, Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

"This is going to take some time," the president said, adding, "We're not leaving until this job gets done."

Biden, who noted he’s been over the bridge many times, said he plans to visit Baltimore as soon as possible.

PHOTO: Rescue personnel gather on the shore of the Patapsco River after a container ship ran into the Francis Scott Key Bridge (back) causing its collapse in Baltimore, March 26, 2024.  (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA via Shutterstock)
PHOTO: Rescue personnel gather on the shore of the Patapsco River after a container ship ran into the Francis Scott Key Bridge (back) causing its collapse in Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA via Shutterstock)

"Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families, especially those waiting for news of their loved one right now," the president said. "To the people of Baltimore, I want to say: We're with you. We're going to stay with you, as long as it takes."


Mar 26, 12:34 PM

No cars transiting bridge at time of collapse: Internal DHS briefing

Maryland transportation officials reviewed traffic cameras and confirmed there were "no vehicles transiting the bridge at the time of the incident," according to the latest internal Department of Homeland Security briefing obtained by ABC News.

PHOTO: The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge lies in the water after it collapsed in Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge lies in the water after it collapsed in Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The local pilot who was at the controls is “undergoing post-accident Drug and Alcohol Testing,” the briefing said.

The cargo ship "remains impaled in the bridge," the document said. "Several shipping containers with unknown cargo fell into water. There is hull damage above the water line to the vessel and the ship is maintaining watertight integrity."

PHOTO: The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of the container ship Dali after the bridge collapsed, Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of the container ship Dali after the bridge collapsed, Baltimore, March 26, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

A slight sheen of pollution was observed in the water, suggesting there could be some oil or other pollutant “in the vicinity of the ship and pollution booms have been requested,” the memo said.

-ABC News' Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky

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