New 3D images show tangled wreck of Baltimore bridge on the riverbed

New 3D images show tangled wreck of Baltimore bridge on the riverbed

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

Up Next

The mangled wreck of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge has been pictured lying on the Patapsco River bed a week after it collapsed.

New 3D images released by the US Navy show the tangled steel and concrete that once safely carried 12,400,000 vehicles across the 8,636 feet stretch of water.

The closure of the Port of Baltimore is costing the economy an estimated £12million each day since the bridge was knocked down by the cargo ship Dali.

But these underwater images from the Naval Sea System Command reveal just how difficult the cleanup operation is.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is leading efforts to clear the remains and reopen the shipping channel.

Divers are working in ‘virtual darkness’ in the 50-foot-deep river, USACE said on X when it shared the images on Tuesday.

‘When lit, their view is similar to driving through a heavy snowfall at night with high-beam headlights on’, it said.

This means divers must be guided by verbal directions giving by operators aboard boats equipped with real-time CODA imagery.

Wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in seen resting at the bottom of the Patapsco River (Picture: U.S. Navy/Bobby Petty via Reuters)

The river is some 50 feet deep where the bridge collapsed (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

CODA Octopus, the underwater sonar imagery, was used to capture the released pictures.

‘These 3D images show the sheer magnitude of the very difficult and challenging salvage operation ahead’, NAVSEA officials said.

No usable underwater video of the wreckage has emerged – as in the words of one Navy diver, ‘there’s no need take video of something you can’t even see’.

Disaster struck on March 26 when the cargo ship Dali lost power just 30 minutes after leaving the Port of Baltimore on a 27-day voyage to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Without control of the vessel, the crew had just minutes to save lives.

They dropped the anchor, tried to turn the vessel to stop the drift, and issued a mayday warning that the ship was about to crash.

‘There’s a ship approaching that has lost their steering,’ a Maryland Transportation Authority told radio traffic moments later.

‘Until you’ve got that under control, we’ve got to stop all traffic.’

The Francis Scott Key Bridge was immediately popular when it opened in 1977 – now it lies at the bottom of the Patapsco River (Picture: Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

US military divers are working in ‘virtual darkness’ as they try to remove the bridge’s remains (Picture: U.S. Navy/Bobby Petty via Reuters)

Within 90 seconds, police officers did just that, blocking traffic from accessing the doomed bridge.

It took just 30 seconds for the bridge to collapse after the cargo ship the size of eight British football pitches crashed into a pillar supporting it.

Two people have been confirmed dead after their bodies were found in a submerged pickup truck.

Four are still missing after being plunged into the icy waters below.

All six were part of a highway repair crew filling in potholes on the bridge as they had done so many times before.

Dad-of-three Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, was named as one of the victims, but his body is yet to be recovered.

Two members of the team survived.

So far, salvage crews have lifted a 200-ton segment of the bridge, according to Maryland Governor Wes Moore, with another 350-ton piece scheduled to be lifted.

Blue skies and calm waters hide the horrors of the bridge collapse (Picture: Mike Pesoli/AP)

Workers in lifts have cut segments of the twisted steel structure still above the water, MailOnline reported.

Larger pieces of the structure will need to be removed with floating cranes before they can be loaded onto barges.

Two temporary alternative channels for commercially essential vessels have been opened while the cleanup continues.

A fuel barge was the first to pass through on Monday.

Dive teams inspected the cargo ship Dali over the weekend.

It could either be dragged to shore or re-floated, depending on the damage to the vessel and its hull.

Dali’s 22 sailors are still confined to the ship as they face investigators’ questions about the collision.

Built in 2015, this isn’t the first time the Dali has crashed.

It struck a stone wall at the port of Antwerp the following year, sustaining slight damage and injuring no one.

The Dali has had 27 inspections since 2015, according to the international ship database Equasis, the most recent being in September in New York.

More Trending

Read More Stories

However, inspectors in Chile just three months earlier found a deficiency in the Dali’s ‘propulsion and auxiliary machinery’. Whether the issue was fixed is unclear.

At the time of the crash, the Dali was owned by Singapore-based Grace Ocean and was carrying shipments from the Danish company Maersk.

There were no protective barriers around the concrete piers holding up the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

But given the size and weight of the Dali, they likely couldn’t handle force of the collision, with the rest caving in after one snapped.

The boat measures 985ft long, 157ft wide and 81ft tall, with a gross tonnage of 95,000 tonnes.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *