Internet heartbroken as dispatch call reveals tense moment first responders confirm Baltimore bridge collapse

Internet heartbroken as dispatch call reveals tense moment first responders confirm Baltimore bridge collapse
Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after a cargo ship rammed into one of its pylons (GettyImages)

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: Dispatch audio that captured the chaos following the cargo ship Dali plowed into a pylon of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge and sent it crashing down has been released.

Dispatch audio reveals moment Baltimore bridge collapsed

Fox News reported that the crew aboard the Dali cargo ship radioed a distress call, notifying of power failure moments before the collision. Despite the mayday call, the massive vessel continued its course toward the bridge at a high speed. Upon impact with one of the pylons of the 1.6-mile-long bridge, the span crumbled into the water in a matter of seconds.

In a chilling dispatch call an emergency responder mentioned that construction workers were present on the bridge when it collapsed, with an unknown number of them ending up in the water. This prompted a call for a dive team to assist in the rescue efforts.


Authorities had barely a few minutes to stop the traffic on the bridge before it collapsed dramatically. The transcript from the call that went out just before 1.28 am makes it clear that first responders tried to avoid what could have been an accident of catastrophic levels. 

Dispatch: "I need one you guys on the south side, one of you guys on the north side to hold all traffic on the Key Bridge. There's a ship approaching, it just lost their steering, so until you get that under control, we got to stop all traffic."

An officer then reported that he stopped all the outer-loop traffic from entering the bridge shortly after 1.28 am:

Officer: "I'm holding traffic now. I was driving but we stopped prior to the bridge so I'll have all outer-loop traffic stopped."

Shortly after that call, an officer asked if the construction crew was on the bridge.

Dispatch: "Is there a crew work on the bridge? ... There's a crew up there. You might want to notify whoever the foreman is, see if we can get them off the bridge temporarily."

Seconds before 1.29 am, an officer confirmed that the inner-loop of the beltway was closed and said he would check on the crew.

Officer: "All inter-loop traffic is stopped at this time ... Once you get here, I'll go grab the workers on the Key Bridge."

Less than 20 seconds later, the initial call of the collapse comes in.

Officer: "C-13 dispatch. The whole bridge just fell down. Start whoever, everybody. The whole bridge just collapsed."

Another officer confirmed the collapse.

Officer: "That is correct."

Dispatch: "Do we know if all traffic was stopped?"

Officer: "I can't get to the other side; the bridge is down. We're going to have to get somebody on the other side, Anne Arundel County, MSP, to get up here and stop traffic coming north down on the Key Bridge."

Internet heartbroken over Baltimore tragedy dispatch call 

A Facebook user commented on the dispatch audio and wrote, "So heartbreaking."

Another user wrote, "We’ll never know the truth, just like every other devastating thing that happens."

A user commented, "Praying for all family members who lost loved ones. So tragic!!!"

Another user on X asserted, "Hairs on the back of my neck standing up. But the calmness and professionalism of these crews is so very reassuring."


Another user on X wrote, "Amazing response from the emergency personnel."


One user commented, "This is hard to listen to. Thoughts are with you all as you continue to process all of this event."


Another user stated, "Great job by all involved. The calmness and poise despite an unbelievable tragedy. I love the fire service!"


This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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