Body camera video captures first reactions to Baltimore bridge collapse

By Thomson Reuters May 11, 2024 | 7:36 PM

(This story contains explicit language in paragraph 3)

(Reuters) – Body camera video captured the shocked reactions of first responders in the aftermath of the collapse of a Baltimore bridge in March in which six men were killed.

The recordings, obtained by local media on Friday, offer a snapshot of the incredulity of officers from the Maryland Natural Resources Police as they approached the site where the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed.

“Dude, this is fucking bad, like there is no bridge,” one person can be heard in the video published by the Baltimore Banner as the boat nears the collapsed bridge.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River in the early morning of March 26, killing six men who were working on the span at the time, after a massive container ship lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s support pylons.

The FBI last month opened a criminal probe into the collapse that also halted traffic at the Port of Baltimore, a trade hub that accounted for 28% of U.S. coal exports last year.

In video clips, one responder said “we’ve heard various numbers. We’re not sure” about how many people were in the water and in need of rescuing after the incident.

Officers trying to ascertain injuries can be heard asking if everybody was okay and, while the response from the ship’s crew can’t be heard on the video, the responder said shortly after “just a one cut to the fingers? Okay, do you need medical attention right now?”.

“This is catastrophic,” another responder said in a different clip published by the Baltimore Banner.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Alistair Bell)