The Francis Scott Bridge tragedy: Clearly no Lessons Learnt

Francis Scott Bridge

Baltimore: A gut-wrenching incident was witnessed in America’s Baltimore city on Tuesday, March 26. The Francis Scott Bridge, known as the infrastructure of the city of Baltimore, fell into the Patapsco River, causing a horrific accident. Six people have died in this accident. This disastrous incident occurred when a container ship collided with the bridge while passing under it. As soon as it collided with the bridge, it collapsed and fell down. The incident occurred at 1:30 a.m. Eastern Time, when the bridge sank into the cold waters of the river following the collision.

In this devastating accident, vehicles running on the bridge and innocent people lost their lives. Many people were swept away in the current of water. At least eight people from the construction crew, who were repairing potholes on the bridge, fell into the 185 meter deep river.

The water temperature where everyone fell in is estimated to have been around 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius). It was estimated to be the upper limit at which humans can survive even if they fall into water. Since the incident, only two persons have been pulled out of the water. One of them was uninjured, but the other suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital. Officials called off the rescue operation on Tuesday night. The six missing workers have been assumed dead.

After this incident, Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared a state of emergency early Tuesday. According to the ship management company, all 22 crew members on the container ship that hit the Baltimore bridge were Indians and they are all safe. Let us tell you that this is not the first time that such an incident has happened in America. Even before this, many such cases have come to light in America.

According to a 2018 report by the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, from 1960 to 2015, there were 35 major bridge collapses worldwide due to collisions with ships or barges, resulting in a total of 342 deaths. Eighteen of these incidents occurred in the United States.

Pope Ferry Bridge

March 20, 2009: A barge pushing eight barges collided with the Pope’s Ferry Bridge in Biloxi, Mississippi. The collision was so severe that it resulted in a 150-foot portion of the bridge falling into the creek.

Interstate 40 Bridge

May 26, 2002: A barge collided with the Interstate 40 bridge over the Arkansas River in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. After this collision, a 500 feet portion of the road broke and the vehicles fell into the water. 14 people lost their lives and 11 were injured in this incident.

Queen Isabella Causeway

September 15, 2001: A tugboat and barge collided on the Queen Isabella Causeway in Port Isabel, Texas. In this incident, the middle part of the bridge fell 80 feet into the bay below. Eight people died after motorists fell into a pit.

Eads bridge

April 14, 1998: The tow Anne Holley traveling through St. Louis Harbor collided with the center span of the Eads Bridge. Eight barges broke down. Three of them hit the gambling ship permanently moored under the bridge. Fifty people suffered minor injuries.

Big Bayou Kent

September 22, 1993: A barge being pushed by a towboat collided with the Big Bayou Canoe Railroad bridge near Mobile, Alabama in dense fog. A few minutes later, an Amtrak train carrying 220 people reached a dislocated bridge and derailed, killing 47 and injuring 103.

Sieber Bridge

May 28, 1993: Towboat Chris, pushing empty hopper barge DM3021, collided with a support tier of the Judge William Sieber Bridge in New Orleans. Two spans and a two-pillar lean-to collapsed onto the barge. Two cars carrying three people fell from the deck of the four-lane bridge into the canal. One person died and two people were seriously injured.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

May 9, 1980: The 609-foot cargo ship Summit Venture was navigating through the narrow, winding shipping channel of Tampa Bay, Florida, when a sudden, blinding storm destroyed the ship’s radar. The plane broke a support of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during the morning rush hour, causing a 1,400-foot section of the concrete roadway to collapse. Seven vehicles, including a bus carrying 26 passengers, fell into 150 feet of water. Thirty-five people died.


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