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Things happen everyday that make people think about how anything can happen at any time. This was the case for residents of Maryland on Tuesday, March 26th of 2024. Early that morning, around 1:30 am, people continued as usual, some driving their normal routes after long night shifts, others traveling for their spring break. Regardless, the night was as expected until the sudden collision of a cargo ship that resulted in the collapse of the bridge itself. 


The crash was the result of a power failure on a large container ship; its lights went out and the steering got out of control before it was seen heading directly toward a support beam of the bridge when it finally collided with great force. Unfortunately, at least 6 people are presumed to be dead as a result of this. It’s reported that there was a group of construction workers on the bridge at the time of the crash and they were not alerted of it, nor were they able to escape the bridge before its fall. Several cars were seen driving down the bridge prior to the collision, narrowly avoiding injuries and possibly death. 


According to the US Coast Guard, they’ve made the decision to cancel their search of the 6 individuals who have been missing since the incident. They stated that given the water temperature and significant efforts they’ve put into the search at this point, it is highly unlikely that they will find them alive. This news has since saddened the friends and family of those missing since the crash.


Multiple security cameras caught footage of this tragic incident, and since then, people all over the nation have been in awe. Some recalled recently traveling on the bridge, and others described their fear of bridges for this very reason. “When I heard about it, my heart dropped. Bridges have always made me anxious because I’ve often thought about rare possibilities like this one that lead to such sad occurrences,” says SHS junior Adriana Bruder, “My condolences go out to those who lost their relatives and friends to this, I’m honestly still completely shocked about it all.”


Additionally, people have also asked the question, was this an attack? After viewing footage of the collision, many have speculated the possibility of the crash being purposeful. They argue that it seems as though the cargo ship is aiming for the bridge’s beam in videos, and some have even suggested it being a potential terrorist attack. Despite this, the power outage has been confirmed to be the cause of the crash and all theories of its intent have been debunked. Siana Adkins, a health academy junior here at SHS, says that she does not believe it was an attack. “I do know things like that happen, and they’re always possible, but I don’t feel it applies to this situation. Power outages happen, errors occur, and while it’s certainly sad, I doubt it was intentional.”


Since its occurrence, people have compared it to past incidents, such as the Tampa Sunshine Skyway disaster in spring of 1980. This was a similar event, although it ended worse than Maryland’s collision. It led to 35 deaths, and was the result of a freighter crashing into the bridge’s columns. Some have claimed to be grateful that this accident wasn’t as severe as Tampa’s, but still, several families still mourn the deaths of their relatives who fell with the bridge. 


Although this incident was surely tragic, the efforts made by first responders and the community’s support has shown immense sympathy towards those affected. It is strongly hoped by thousands around the world that cautious measures will be taken to prevent this from repeating itself once again.


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