‘The Whole Bridge Just Fell Down!’: Shocking Dispatch Audio Released After Baltimore Bridge Collapse


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Audio from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) dispatch audio reveals the exchange between officials Tuesday when the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed.

The bridge collapsed early Tuesday morning into the Patapsco River after being struck by a container ship, Dalia, chartered by Maersk, a Danish shipping company, according to The Associated Press (AP). Multiple vehicles fell into the water as well, with authorities rescuing at least two people while at least six remain missing. The MTA dispatch audio captures the officials scrambling to shut down traffic over the bridge after receiving a ‘mayday’ call from the ship.

“Hey, I need one of you guys on the south side, one of you guys on the north side. Hold on, traffic on the Key Bridge. There’s a ship approaching that just lost their steering, so until we get that under control we gotta stop all traffic,” one man was heard saying.

“I’m en route to the south side,” another man responded.

“Uh, I’m holding traffic now. I was dragging [inaudible] prior to the bridge. So I’ll have all, I’ll have traffic stopped,” a second man replied.

“Is there a crew working on the bridge right now?” one man asked before receiving two inaudible replies.

“Yeah if we could stop traffic, just make sure no one is on the bridge right now,” one man said. (RELATED: Mayor Offers Two-Word Response To Bridge Collapse)

“Uh, I’m not sure whether — uh, there’s a crew up there. You might want to notify whoever the foreman is and see if we can get them off of the bridge temporarily,” another man chimed in.

“Ten four, once the other unit gets here, I’ll ride up on the bridge,” one man said. “I’ll have [inaudible] all traffic stopped at this time.”

“Once you get here, I’ll go grab the uh, workers on the Key Bridge and stop the [inaudible],” another man said.

“[inaudible] Thirteen dispatch, the whole bridge just fell down,” one man abruptly cut in. “Start, start, whoever to everybody. The whole bridge just collapsed.”

“[inaudible] dispatch is correct?” one man asked.

“That’s correct,” another man replied.

“This time. Do we know how long traffic was stopped?” one man asked.

“I can’t get to the other side, sir. The bridge is down,” another man responded.

In the wake of the disaster, President Joe Biden promised to rebuild the bridge using federal money to fund the “entire cost,” NBC News reported. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg abruptly canceled his trip to Cheyenne as a result of the Baltimore bridge collapse and is traveling to the wreckage site Tuesday, according to a department spokesman.