Author Topic: Bridge collapse in Baltimore  (Read 2045 times)

WLJ

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Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« on: March 26, 2024, 07:38:08 AM »
Container ship struck the Francis-Scott Key bridge causing it to fall.
They're calling it a 'developing mass casualty event'


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The Francis Scott Key Bridge along I-695 in Maryland collapsed into the Baltimore harbor following a "ship strike" early Tuesday morning.

A livestream of the bridge appeared to show a cargo ship colliding with a support beam, causing the bridge to break apart and fall into the Patapsco River. Multiple vehicles were on the bridge at the time, but noupdate on casualties has been offered.

Emergency crews including the U.S. Coast Guard, local first responders and the FBI were searching for at least 20 people believed to be in the water, Kevin Cartwright, director of communications for the Baltimore Fire Department, told The Associated Press around 3 a.m. Officials have described this as a mass casualty event.
Maryland: Ship hits Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse
https://www.foxnews.com/us/maryland-ship-hits-francis-scott-key-bridge-causing-collapse


Video of the collapse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVdVpd-pqcM
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WLJ

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K Frame

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2024, 07:48:57 AM »
The videos I've seen of the various harbor cameras are... spectacular? Frightening? Horrific? Not quite sure how to describe them.

As I was coming into work the local news radio program was saying that two people have been rescued from the water (one unharmed, one critical) and they believe that there are at least 7 others in the water.
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K Frame

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2024, 07:51:55 AM »
Here's the breaking news from the local news channel that serves this region.

https://wtop.com/baltimore/2024/03/key-bridge-in-baltimore-collapses-after-hitting-large-boat/

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dogmush

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2024, 08:00:33 AM »
Huh.  I'll be interested in the accident breakdown on this one.

Boat had pilots on board, clear night with good visability, the video shows not much wind when they hit, they were just way the *expletive deleted*ck out to starboard.  In the video of the collapse you can see the exhaust plume where they pegged the engines (full astern, I assume) but too late.  gotta wonder WTF was happening on that bridge.

Prayers out to the folks that were on that bridge and got dropped in the harbor.

WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2024, 08:02:55 AM »
Info on the ship
95k tons
https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/details/9697428

Quote
The vessel DALI (IMO 9697428, MMSI 563004200) is a Container Ship built in 2015 (9 years old) and currently sailing under the flag of Singapore.
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WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2024, 08:10:50 AM »
Reportedly it lost power before striking the bridge
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dogmush

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2024, 08:35:15 AM »
Reportedly it lost power before striking the bridge

That video shows an awful lot of  black "Oh *expletive deleted*it peg the throttles" diesel exhaust coming from that ship before it hit. 

She also doesn't have her anchors out in the morning shots of her under the bridge, which would be SOP for "we lost power and need to stop" kinda situation.  I see she has a bow thruster, which doesn't look like it was thrusting at the time, which also would have been a good idea rather than ramming straight into a pylon.

From first glance it doesn't look like a dead ship drifting into a bridge situation, but I guess we'll see.  AIS shows her making a nice controlled turn, running down the channel, then veering off to Starboard about 1/4 NM before the bridge.

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2024, 08:36:09 AM »
There is a fairly complete video already. I counted at least 2 times when all the lighting on the ship disappeared and, obviously, the main engines also turned off. It is strange that the emergency gensets did not at least provide lighting...

https://youtu.be/m3Sobolb6c4?si=IAX-Cyasu1ihKkBw

Ben

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2024, 08:42:53 AM »
That video shows an awful lot of  black "Oh *expletive deleted*it peg the throttles" diesel exhaust coming from that ship before it hit. 

She also doesn't have her anchors out in the morning shots of her under the bridge, which would be SOP for "we lost power and need to stop" kinda situation.  I see she has a bow thruster, which doesn't look like it was thrusting at the time, which also would have been a good idea rather than ramming straight into a pylon.

From first glance it doesn't look like a dead ship drifting into a bridge situation, but I guess we'll see.  AIS shows her making a nice controlled turn, running down the channel, then veering off to Starboard about 1/4 NM before the bridge.

Thanks for the expert analysis. That certainly raises potential tinfoil questions. I know it can take some significant power and time to change trajectory, but from what you saw, it looks like they weren't even trying. Would bow thrusters on something that big have (powerful enough) backup power sources if main power took a dump?

The crew interviews will be of interest.
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WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2024, 08:53:37 AM »
Not to belittle the lost of life one thing to consider that along with the fact that this is going to create one heck of a traffic issue for a long time to come is that we now have a major port blocked and will remain block for some time.
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Ben

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2024, 09:01:01 AM »
Not to belittle the lost of life one thing to consider that along with the fact that this is going to create one heck of a traffic issue for a long time to come is that we now have a major port blocked and will remain block for some time.

That will be an interesting tangent. I've mentioned before that shortly after 9/11, I was involved in a week long response exercise based on terrorists sinking a ship at the entry to the port at LA/LB (Los Angeles), the largest port in the country. The time to clear things and the lack of capability for other ports to handle the traffic resulted in a pretty devastating post attack scenario where half the country would have empty grocery shelves.

Baltimore is way down at 18th busiest port, so it will probably more of a commerce inconvenience as far as goods coming in and trucking them inland, but it's food for thought had this happened in one of the top ten ports.
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dogmush

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2024, 09:13:59 AM »
There is a fairly complete video already. I counted at least 2 times when all the lighting on the ship disappeared and, obviously, the main engines also turned off. It is strange that the emergency gensets did not at least provide lighting...

https://youtu.be/m3Sobolb6c4?si=IAX-Cyasu1ihKkBw

Thanks for that longer video.  Couple of things stand out to me.

First, it's worth noting that the Main Engines don't shut off if you loose Ships Power.  You may (depending on the boat) lose bridge controls of them, but there are required to be back up manual controls of the engines that work even if the genset goes down.  You can tell if you watch the exhaust stack that she was idling along, they lost power the first time, then when the power came back the engines came up full, and stayed at full through the second power loss.  If I had to guess the engineer(s) were more worried about getting power back than controlling the ship through the first black out.  If that's true it'll come out when the bridge recorders are listened to, and is simple lack of training.

An emergency generator is required to automatically start and take the load within 45 seconds of loosing main ships power.  That's the max allowable time, most of them are around 20 secsor so.  Dali was dark ship for a full minute the first time, and when power came back it brought up everything including the sodium vapor deck lights.  While not 100% those are not normally on the Emergency Switch Board, so if I had to guess that wasn't the E-Gen coming on, the crew got the Ships Service Diesel Generator back up, or started and switched to the other SSDG.  The E-Gen should have been tested as part of the Presails and in Automatic mode before they sailed.  Since they'd only been underway about an hour, that thing should have been good to go.

Right after power comes back the first time she starts a solid turn to starboard.  That's weird because she was lined up with the bridge and channel before the turn, and had been drifting relatively straight for the minute the power was out (consistent with engine at idle or a little above, and rudder mid) so the power came on and someone gave her rudder input to leave the channel.  You can see right around 2:30 in the vid Opportunity posted when the aspect change starts on Dali as rudder input is given. If they were trying to turn around they had nowhere near enough time.

Were it me, I would have left the Bow Thruster online until I cleared the river, just in case, but if they didn't have manual control of the engines, they probably didn't have manual control of the Bow Thruster, or they were using it in their ill-fated attempt to turn to Starboard.


Not to belittle the lost of life one thing to consider that along with the fact that this is going to create one heck of a traffic issue for a long time to come is that we now have a major port blocked and will remain block for some time.

I'd bet they have the pieces of that bridge out of the shipping channel and traffic restored this week or mid next week at the latest.  We don't leave ports closed very long.

MechAg94

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2024, 09:14:47 AM »
There is a fairly complete video already. I counted at least 2 times when all the lighting on the ship disappeared and, obviously, the main engines also turned off. It is strange that the emergency gensets did not at least provide lighting...

https://youtu.be/m3Sobolb6c4?si=IAX-Cyasu1ihKkBw
In that video, you can see the lights turned off on the ship around 1:24 timestamp then come back on about 2:24.  I think I see exhaust kick in soon after power comes back.  Then it looks like the lights dim again around 3:29.  However, the exhaust continues and some lights are still there.  Then it looks like impact about 5:36.
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MechAg94

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2024, 09:24:13 AM »
Thanks for that longer video.  Couple of things stand out to me.

First, it's worth noting that the Main Engines don't shut off if you loose Ships Power.  You may (depending on the boat) lose bridge controls of them, but there are required to be back up manual controls of the engines that work even if the genset goes down.  You can tell if you watch the exhaust stack that she was idling along, they lost power the first time, then when the power came back the engines came up full, and stayed at full through the second power loss.  If I had to guess the engineer(s) were more worried about getting power back than controlling the ship through the first black out.  If that's true it'll come out when the bridge recorders are listened to, and is simple lack of training.

An emergency generator is required to automatically start and take the load within 45 seconds of loosing main ships power.  That's the max allowable time, most of them are around 20 secsor so.  Dali was dark ship for a full minute the first time, and when power came back it brought up everything including the sodium vapor deck lights.  While not 100% those are not normally on the Emergency Switch Board, so if I had to guess that wasn't the E-Gen coming on, the crew got the Ships Service Diesel Generator back up, or started and switched to the other SSDG.  The E-Gen should have been tested as part of the Presails and in Automatic mode before they sailed.  Since they'd only been underway about an hour, that thing should have been good to go.

Right after power comes back the first time she starts a solid turn to starboard.  That's weird because she was lined up with the bridge and channel before the turn, and had been drifting relatively straight for the minute the power was out (consistent with engine at idle or a little above, and rudder mid) so the power came on and someone gave her rudder input to leave the channel.  You can see right around 2:30 in the vid Opportunity posted when the aspect change starts on Dali as rudder input is given. If they were trying to turn around they had nowhere near enough time.

Were it me, I would have left the Bow Thruster online until I cleared the river, just in case, but if they didn't have manual control of the engines, they probably didn't have manual control of the Bow Thruster, or they were using it in their ill-fated attempt to turn to Starboard.


I'd bet they have the pieces of that bridge out of the shipping channel and traffic restored this week or mid next week at the latest.  We don't leave ports closed very long.
That last part was my question.  Wouldn't they have already been lined up properly to cross under the bridge well before that time?  Losing power 2 minutes out shouldn't have drifted them into the bridge unless something steered them that way. 

I guess I already heard someone mention conspiracy theories about a 3rd party hacking the ship.  However, as mentioned above, there are busier ports that would have a greater impact.  Which then makes you wonder if the security reaction is what someone wanted.  Further down the hole, you get to wondering if this is part of the pre-election emergency actions to keep Biden in power.  That rabbit hole goes on quite a ways. 
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WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2024, 09:27:00 AM »
Reportedly the ship radioed in that they had lost power and that a collision with the bridge was possible.
Struck the bridge at 7.6kts

Quote
The emergency generator does not connect to propulsion but should support steering and navigation systems but the ships heading appears to have been pushed off course by the wind directly into the support column.

Maritime Journalist Shares Early Analysis of Francis Scott Key Bridge Disaster
https://twitchy.com/samj/2024/03/26/maritime-journalist-shares-early-analysis-of-francis-scott-key-bridge-disaster-n2394406

Article

Ship Lost Control Before Hitting Baltimore Bridge
https://gcaptain.com/ship-lost-control-before-hitting-baltimore-bridge/
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Ben

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2024, 09:35:59 AM »
I suppose the "not as bad" take is that it happened at 0130. I have no idea regarding the traffic that bridge sees, but I have to assume it would be significantly more at rush hour than at likely near the least busiest time for bridge traffic.
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Ben

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2024, 09:42:18 AM »
I'd bet they have the pieces of that bridge out of the shipping channel and traffic restored this week or mid next week at the latest.  We don't leave ports closed very long.


I'm certain that the location of the bridge and that it was a bridge, rather than a sunk ship, would get this cleared faster, but in that exercise I mentioned, with a ship sunk at the relatively narrow inlet to LA/LB, SUPSALV estimated, IIRC, a minimum of one month for partial traffic if money and resources were no object and everything went smooth.
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dogmush

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2024, 09:44:16 AM »
That last part was my question.  Wouldn't they have already been lined up properly to cross under the bridge well before that time?  Losing power 2 minutes out shouldn't have drifted them into the bridge unless something steered them that way. 


Quote
The emergency generator does not connect to propulsion but should support steering and navigation systems but the ships heading appears to have been pushed off course by the wind directly into the support column.

I disagree with that analysis.  That video is time stamped, and you can line it up with the AIS date for free at MarineTraffic.  They went dark at 05:24:32 UTC and drifted in a generally straight line, directly towards the bridge opening for a minute.  Then the power came on at 05:25:33 UTC and she almost immediately begins to turn to starboard.  Had she been blown sideways by the wind her heading would have been more or less constant while she crabbed sideways as she doesn't have significantly more sail area fore or aft to induce a wind caused heading change.  Also it would take a fair bit of wind to cause a ship that size and draft to turn that quickly while under power and the video clearly shows calm sea with no chop.  There's almost no wind there.  It looks like a commanded course change to me.

WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2024, 09:50:23 AM »
I disagree with that analysis.  That video is time stamped, and you can line it up with the AIS date for free at MarineTraffic.  They went dark at 05:24:32 UTC and drifted in a generally straight line, directly towards the bridge opening for a minute.  Then the power came on at 05:25:33 UTC and she almost immediately begins to turn to starboard.  Had she been blown sideways by the wind her heading would have been more or less constant while she crabbed sideways as she doesn't have significantly more sail area fore or aft to induce a wind caused heading change.  Also it would take a fair bit of wind to cause a ship that size and draft to turn that quickly while under power and the video clearly shows calm sea with no chop.  There's almost no wind there.  It looks like a commanded course change to me.

Not agreeing or disagreeing until we know more but you have to take the wind surface area of the ship into account and with containers it is massive.
Remember reading about how the wind would move the stern around of the Nelson class BBs* making docking fun. It don't take much wind to do so.

Hopefully more will come out on just what was going on the ship

*If you look at their layout you'll understand why.
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French G.

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2024, 09:50:59 AM »


I'm certain that the location of the bridge and that it was a bridge, rather than a sunk ship, would get this cleared faster, but in that exercise I mentioned, with a ship sunk at the relatively narrow inlet to LA/LB, SUPSALV estimated, IIRC, a minimum of one month for partial traffic if money and resources were no object and everything went smooth.

I always figured stage 2 of 9/11 was supposed to be wreck a couple of container ships right on top of the Hampton and or Chesapeake tunnels, Restrict a ton of ports, including all the east coast aircraft carrier. Bonus for dirty bomb to foul the cleanup
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dogmush

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2024, 09:51:49 AM »


I'm certain that the location of the bridge and that it was a bridge, rather than a sunk ship, would get this cleared faster, but in that exercise I mentioned, with a ship sunk at the relatively narrow inlet to LA/LB, SUPSALV estimated, IIRC, a minimum of one month for partial traffic if money and resources were no object and everything went smooth.

Interesting data point there.  I wonder what constraints they gave themselves.  I've done some similar exercises where we work with the navy to open ports that have been closed by military action (either blown on the way out by the enemy, or collateral damage from the initial assault) and are estimates are a lot faster for opening chanels and ports.  Basically we bring in Army Salvage Divers and Navy UDT and blow up anything that sticks up higher than we want it to, then rock on.

In this situation I would assume they'll drag some barge derricks in and use divers to cut up the bridge in the channel and then pull it up, or let it flop to the seafloor.  It's not that much metal in the grand scheme of things, but I may be out of calibration of the time required due to military tehniques.

WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2024, 09:55:41 AM »
In this situation I would assume they'll drag some barge derricks in and use divers to cut up the bridge in the channel and then pull it up, or let it flop to the seafloor.  It's not that much metal in the grand scheme of things, but I may be out of calibration of the time required due to military tehniques.

Big difference between a military "we need this channel cleared now!" and a government red tape clogged operation. I'm thinking 3 months min. We shall see. Hopefully your estimate is closer.
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dogmush

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2024, 10:00:07 AM »
Not agreeing or disagreeing until we know more but you have to take the wind surface area of the ship into account and with containers it is massive.
Remember reading about how the wind would move the stern around of the Nelson class BBs* making docking fun. It don't take much wind to do so.

Hopefully more will come out on just what was going on the ship

*If you look at their layout you'll understand why.

Yes, I know all about sail area with vessel maneuvering.  As I said, that boat didn't have uneaven sail area which you would expect for a wind induced heading change.  You also need to take into account the underwater surface area resisting wind drift, and the fact that she had a fair bit of forward motion over her keel and rudder, which also counteracts wind induced heading change. You can estimate wind speed from the waves and from the ships exhaust smoke.  They were under 5 knts of wind, and probably under 3 knts.  IMHO that turn was too fast to be caused by that little wind.

WLJ

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Re: Bridge collapse in Baltimore
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2024, 10:02:58 AM »
Sail area, that was the term I couldn't get out of my head this morning.

Always the possibility something shorted out causing the rudder to kick over.
But like I said we shall see. It's still early in the investigation and info outflow. Something may have happened we're completely unaware of
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