Chilling Moment Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses after Container Ship Crashes into It as Rescuers Scramble to Save Dozens from Icy Waters [WATCH]

The shocking moment of the bridge collapse, occurring at a height of 180 feet above the river, was captured on camera.

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Rescue teams in Baltimore are working at a rapid pace to save the lives of dozens of people who were thrown into the icy waters of the Patapsco River when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after a collision with a container ship. A spine-chilling video has emerged that captures the moment the bridge collapses plunging people into the frigid waters.

Initial reports suggest that roughly a dozen cars plunged into the 47-degree water, along with around 20 construction workers who were present on the bridge at the time of the accident. These workers were in the process of pouring concrete onto the bridge when the fatal collision took place.

Explosion Before Collapse

Francis Scott Key Bridge
The moment Francis Scott Key Bridge collapses sending dozens of cars into frigid waters X

An explosion occurred on the container ship as it collided with the bridge, causing containers and diesel to spill into the water. The ship involved is the 948-foot-long Dali, flagged in Singapore and identified as a container vessel.

Ship tracking websites showed the Dali positioned stationary under the bridge following the crash.

According to the ship's owners, all crew members were confirmed accounted for, with no reported injuries.

The owners also said in a statement provided to TradeWinds, a global shipping publication, that "There has been no pollution."

Multiple boats designated as Coast Guard search and rescue vessels were seen surrounding the ship around 3 am ET.

Francis Scott Key Bridge
The container seen colliding with the bridge before it falls X

The shocking moment of the bridge collapse, occurring at a height of 180 feet above the river, was captured on camera. Kevin Cartwright, the Director of Communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, described the situation as "a dire emergency."

Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency in Maryland to enable local officials to access funds from the Biden administration. He also said that his office is in close communication with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

Around 30,000 vehicles use the bridge, named after the writer of the Star Spangled Banner, daily. The bridge, which opened in 1977, serves as a vital transportation route.

Francis Scott Key Bridge
An explosion was seen on the container ship before it crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge bridge X

"Our focus right now is trying to rescue and recover these people," Cartwright said. He said it's too early to know how many people were affected but called the collapse a "developing mass casualty event."

Mass Casualties Feared

Dramatic footage captures the moment when the bridge seems to snap and then collapse into the river below following the vessel's collision with one of its supporting structures. Cartwright said that there appears to be "some cargo or retainers hanging from the bridge," leading to unsafe and unstable conditions.

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The entire Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in no time X

As a result, emergency responders are proceeding cautiously. Hypothermia can occur when a person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Following the collapse, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth told the BBC that it seemed the ship "strayed" to the side rather than passing under the center of the bridge. "But for whatever reason it must have strayed off and has hit the support."

"The support is a very, relatively, flimsy structure when you look at it, it's a kind of trestle structure with individual legs. So, the bridge has collapsed simply as a result of this very large impact force," he added.

The Dali ship was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka, although the cargo it was carrying remains unclear. The vessel was scheduled to arrive in Asia on April 27. As of the latest information, the 50-meter-wide ship is stranded beneath the bridge.

It had arrived in Baltimore from Norfolk on Monday, having previously traveled to New York City and Panama.

The 1.6-mile bridge, a segment of I-695, spans the Patapsco River in Baltimore's harbor. Constructed in 1977, the primary span of the truss bridge, measuring 1,200 feet, ranks as the third longest continuous truss span globally.

Francis Scott Key Bridge
Rescue workers are scrambling to save hundreds of lives after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collpased X

The bridge supports around 12 million vehicles annually and serves as the route for the Baltimore Beltway/Interstate 695 across the river.

Emergency responders at the scene include the Harford County Fire and EMS, along with volunteer firefighters from the Volunteer Swift Water Team and the Harford County Department of Emergency Services' Special Operations Team.

Hours before the crash, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott delivered his annual state of the city address, focusing on initiatives such as cleaning up the city's harbor, as well as efforts to combat crime and poverty.