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CORRECTION: Unified Command continues Key Bridge Response 2024

Correction: The previous press release stated 13 containers holding hazardous materials were impacted. The correct number of containers impacted is 14. This correction is reflected in the copy below.


BALTIMORE – The Unified Command continues to coordinate response operations Thursday to the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.


Dive operations and vehicle recovery are paused due to hazardous conditions caused by the submerged wreckage and debris. 


The Unified Command has established a 2000-yard Safety Zone for the M/V Dali recovery efforts. The safety zone is enforced for the protection of personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards associated with salvage work.


On-Scene crews continue to assess and monitor for spilled oils and hazardous substances to prevent further discharge or release into the marine environment. There is 2,400 feet of sorbent boom deployed at the incident site, and 2,400 feet of hard containment boom with anchoring systems deployed around the vessel. Additionally, 1,000 feet of boom is on stand-by to deploy if additional prevention supplies are required. 


The Unified Command is addressing environmental concerns with response teams conducting visual inspections of water quality and collecting samples for testing. 


First responders have observed a sheen around the vessel. There are 56 total containers loaded on the vessel that contained hazardous materials. 14 were impacted. The 14 that were impacted were assessed by an industrial hygienist for potential hazards.  


The chemical components assessed were soap products, perfume products, or not otherwise specified resin. We have been conducting air monitoring on the vessel and around the vessel with our contractor. No volatile organic compounds or flammable vapors were observed.  We are continuing to air monitor throughout the incident.  Pollution and debris removal operations are on-going. At this time, no atmospheric hazards have been detected and the Unified Command continues to ensure safety.


I-695 remains closed on the Outer Loop at MD 173 (Exit 1) and on the Inner Loop at MD 157/Peninsula Expressway (Exit 43). Allow extra travel times using alternate routes on I-95, I-895 and other portions of I-695.


Vehicles transporting hazardous materials prohibited in tunnels should use the western section of I-695 around the tunnels. This includes vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, and significant amounts of radioactive materials.



The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command includes the:


U.S. Coast Guard  

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Maryland Department of the Environment  

Maryland Transportation Authority 

Witt O’Brien’s

Maryland State Police 


A website with incident response information can be found at the following URL:  


The media is requested to call the Joint Information Center at 410-631-8939 for interview response inquiries and interviews.  


The Unified Command’s operational priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, accountability of missing persons, safely restoring transportation infrastructure and commerce, protecting the environment, and supporting the investigation. 

Capt. David O’Connell, Captain of the Port of Baltimore and unified command member for the Key Bridge Response 2024 speaks to Maryland Governor Wes Moore and response personnel at the incident command post in Baltimore, Maryland, March 28, 2024. The operational objectives of the Unified Command center are on multiple fronts: safeguarding the welfare of the public and first responders; ensuring accountability for any missing individuals; preserving environmental integrity; stabilizing the incident; safely restoring transportation infrastructure and maritime commerce; and providing steadfast support for ongoing investigations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carmen Caver)


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