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Baltimore Bridge.

(69 Posts)
Sago Tue 26-Mar-24 09:47:52

I cannot stop watching the awful video of the bridge.
The way it collapses so quickly, is just shocking.
This is a real tragedy, thank heavens it didn’t happen at rush hour.

Juliet27 Tue 26-Mar-24 09:53:11

Unbelievable how much damage was caused so quickly. The poor people, and rescuers, in the water at a temperature under 10C and with a diesel spill.

tanith Tue 26-Mar-24 09:58:42

A shocking event indeed , hopefully people will be rescued successfully by emergency services and divers who are on scene.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 26-Mar-24 10:07:02

I imagine that, given the conditions, there will, sadly, be a number of fatalities. There will also be arrests, criminal and civil proceedings.

Bea65 Tue 26-Mar-24 10:08:12

Almost unbelievable how the bridge just went down .. locals thought it was an earthquake at first but now realise it was a heavily laden container ship…

Witzend Tue 26-Mar-24 10:20:10

OMG, just saw the video on the BBC website. Horrendous!

nanaK54 Tue 26-Mar-24 10:23:31

It is just awful.
My thoughts are with all involved.

Mollygo Tue 26-Mar-24 10:28:32

Dreadful, and so sudden. The video on BBC showed how quickly it happened. Those poor people and their families.

Casdon Tue 26-Mar-24 10:31:15

How awful, those poor people. It’s really made me wonder how safely other bridges are designed, I’d always assumed each section had structural integrity but if this bridge was typical, that isn’t the case.

nanna8 Tue 26-Mar-24 10:34:03

Absolutely awful. There will be a lot of questions about how a bridge could collapse like this after a container ship went into it and why it hit the bridge in the first place. Those poor people.

TerriBull Tue 26-Mar-24 10:40:28

Awful to read this and am thinking of possible fatalities, I hope there aren't any but that's too much to hope for. About ten or so years ago we took an Amtrak train from New York to Savannah down that Eastern Seaboard of the US, passing right by Baltimore, the parts we saw from the train looked pretty run down and impoverished there's a lot of poverty in America. Thoughts are with the casualties.

Witzend Tue 26-Mar-24 10:46:14

There must surely have been something seriously amiss with the design, for the whole thing to collapse like that? Once he’s home I will consult dh - retired civil engineer.

Callistemon21 Tue 26-Mar-24 10:48:51

How could that happen?!
The ship seemed way off its course.

AGAA4 Tue 26-Mar-24 10:52:01

Awful tragedy that could have been avoided. Those poor people who were on the bridge at the time didn't stand a chance.

MissInterpreted Tue 26-Mar-24 10:57:19

It's horrific. What a terrible tragedy for all those involved. I have to admit that I've never liked driving over high bridges at all.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 26-Mar-24 11:17:07

The weight hitting the bridge support would have been many, many tons. One of my first thoughts was whether the bridge could have been designed to withstand such an impact. It will be interesting to hear your husband’s thoughts Witzend.

Sparklefizz Tue 26-Mar-24 11:20:50

Shocking, absolutely shocking!

Witzend Let us know what your DH says about the engineering aspect.

Wyllow3 Tue 26-Mar-24 11:25:10

On the BBC feed it appears the problem is that the ship was or should have been in the process of turning around after leaving the port before it got to the bridge. Looking at the size of the ship and the size of the bridge it doesn't seem surprising.

twiglet77 Tue 26-Mar-24 11:32:51

The ship’s lights went out as it approached the bridge then flickered back on before going out again, loss of power presumably affected its course. Thank goodness it wasn’t in rush hour when the bridge would have been packed. Not many casualties reported so far.

MayBee70 Tue 26-Mar-24 11:37:08


There must surely have been something seriously amiss with the design, for the whole thing to collapse like that? Once he’s home I will consult dh - retired civil engineer.

After9/11 I read that American building regulations aren’t as stringent as ours. Not sure how true that is.

Witzend Tue 26-Mar-24 12:23:10


Shocking, absolutely shocking!

Witzend Let us know what your DH says about the engineering aspect.

He would think something seriously amiss with the design, and/or ‘economies’ made with the construction.

Given that it was intended for a presumably busy shipping route, a collision at some point was always a possibility.

karmalady Tue 26-Mar-24 12:35:00

Depends when it was built and the traffic it was designed for, early bridges may not have been embedded into solid rock. It went down like a pack of unsupported cards. Many states in the US are poor, I have been watching drive through videos by Joe and Nic`s road trip. They give various statistics and I was shocked to see the poor areas and there are very many. Hence they could not afford highway maintenance

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 26-Mar-24 12:38:35

According to reports, it was built in the 70s.

Wyllow3 Tue 26-Mar-24 12:53:21

Dali 'lost propulsion' before hitting bridge
An unclassified memo CISA - the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency - has confirmed that the Singapore-flagged vessel Dali "lost propulsion" and collided with "a supporting tower of the bridge".

Looking at the size of the bridge and the size of the ship it seems to me that a bridge planned and built in the 1970's was never planned to be able to take this kind of collision?

TinSoldier Tue 26-Mar-24 13:05:03

I’m sure we will learn much more as the days and weeks go by but I read that:

The Francis Scott Bridge was the third longest continuous truss bridge in the world. The longest are in Nagasaki and Astoria, Oregon.

Wiki tells us that:

A continuous truss bridge is a truss bridge which extends without hinges or joints across three or more supports. A continuous truss bridge may use less material than a series of simple trusses because a continuous truss distributes live loads across all the spans; in a series of simple trusses, each truss must be capable of supporting the entire load.

Although some continuous truss bridges resemble cantilever bridges and may be constructed using cantilever techniques, there are important differences between the two forms. Cantilever bridges need not connect rigidly mid-span, as the cantilever arms are self-supporting. Although some cantilever bridges appear continuous due to decorative trusswork at the joints, these bridges will remain standing if the connections between the cantilevers are broken, or if the suspended span (if any) is removed. Conversely, continuous truss bridges rely on rigid truss connections throughout the structure for stability. Severing a continuous truss mid-span endangers the structure.

… which is what has happened.