Cargo Ship That Hit Francis Scott Key Bridge Carried 1.8m Gallons of Fuel and 56 Containers With Hazardous Materials

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Cargo Ship That Hit Francis Scott Key Bridge Carried 1.8m Gallons of Fuel and 56 Containers With Hazardous Materials

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, crumbled following a collision between a cargo ship and one of its support columns.

The bridge, a significant route for commuters, carries the Baltimore Beltway I-695 over the Patapsco River at the southern tip of Baltimore Harbor.

It serves as the primary route for transporting hazardous materials in the state, as these materials are prohibited from passing through the underwater tunnels in Baltimore.

Local authorities are currently redirecting vehicles carrying hazardous materials through the western part of Baltimore.

Recent updates indicate that up to 1.8 million gallons of fuel and other hazardous materials might have leaked into the water. Search-and-rescue operations for the six bridge workers who fell into the water have been halted, with authorities now presuming them deceased.

As reported by ABC News:

Federal officials are monitoring about 1.8 million gallons of fuel inside the container ship Dali for its “spill potential,” according to an unclassified memo from the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. But a U.S. official familiar with the matter told CNN “lots would have to go wrong” for that amount of fuel to spill.

The Department of Homeland Security has also deemed the water near the crash site unsafe for divers, according to a memo obtained by ABC News.

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.

An elite Coast Guard team is examining 13 damaged containers, “some with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and/or hazardous materials [HAZMAT] contents,” the CISA memo said. The team is also analyzing the ship’s manifest to determine what was on board and if any materials could pose a health risk, the source said.

“There is minor sheening on-scene. Booming has been ordered and is staged but will not be placed until search and rescue and dive operations are complete,” the document said. “The amount of potential oil spill is 1.8M gallons of marine grade diesel.”

More from Fox:

The Singapore-flagged cargo ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing its collapse, was transporting containers with hazardous materials, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Vice Admiral Peter Gautier said during the White House press briefing that of the 4700 containers on board the Dali, 56 contain hazardous materials and two are missing overboard. The ones that are in the water do not contain hazardous materials, he told reporters.

“There is no threat to the public from the hazardous materials on board,” Gautier said.

A specialized hazmat team went aboard the ship to inspect the cargo.

On Wednesday, Jennifer Homendy, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), declared that the data recorder commonly referred to as the “black box” has been retrieved from the DALI cargo ship involved in the early Tuesday morning collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The black box is anticipated to unveil a timeline of events for the DALI, potentially shedding light on the cause behind the ship’s power failure.