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Maersk vessel collapses Baltimore bridge

At 05:30 GMT this morning a 10,000 TEU vessel operated by Maersk collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, sending a significant section of the bridge into the Patapsco River with at least six people unaccounted for and search and rescue efforts continuing.

The “Dali” is on lease to Maersk for operation on the 2M service between Asia and the US East Coast, and is understood to have had two pilots on board at the time of the collision.

Press reports suggest that the Singapore-flagged vessel, which had two pilots aboard, lost propulsion which, if true, would very quickly lead to a loss of steerage and these ships are so huge that even if the speed is slow, the momentum in any collision would be immensely powerful.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said the preliminary investigation into the bridge collapse “points to an accident”, with the vessel currently wedged into debris from the Bridge.

Approximately 45 ships were inside the port as of Tuesday morning and the bridge collapse will mean that for the time being it will not be possible for them to depart or inbound vessels to berth at container terminals in Baltimore.

Inbound vessels will need to re-route through other ports in the region, while cargo already gated into Baltimore terminals will have to either wait an unknown period for the waterway to reopen, or be gated back out and shifted to a different port.

While the have no cargo on this vessel, we do have customers that import through Baltimore and will be in contact with them directly to implement contingency planning.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this dreadful accident and particularly those with missing loved ones. 

If you have concerns or questions regarding this breaking news and evolving situation, please EMAIL Colin Redman.