Local officials speak out after bridge collapse in Baltimore, say there’s no evidence of terrorism

27 March 2024-  After the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and the suspected death of multiple road workers, officials throughout Maryland have issued statements calling for both prayer and calm ahead of the cleanup and rebuilding process.

United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron stated, “There is no evidence at this time to suggest that today’s collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has any ties to terrorism. My office will continue to coordinate with our federal, state, and local partners to provide any support necessary.” U.S. Attorney Barron added, “I am praying for the families and friends of the victims and everyone affected by this tragic event.”

Governor Wes Moore released the following statement on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge:

“My office is in close communication with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and the Baltimore Fire Department as emergency personnel are on the scene following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. 

I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration. 

We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety.

We will remain in close contact with federal, state, and local entities that are carrying out rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is assisting the Maryland Transportation Authority with traffic control related to the collapse of the I-695 bridge over the Patapsco River (Francis Scott Key Bridge). Drivers are encouraged to prepare for extra commuting time until further notice. 

The outer loop I-695 closure has shifted to exit 1/Quarantine Road (past the Curtis Creek Drawbridge) to allow for enhanced local traffic access. 

The inner loop of I-695 remains closed at MD 157 (Peninsula Expressway). Additionally, the ramp from MD 157 to the inner loop of I-695 will be closed. 

Drivers should use I-95 (Fort McHenry Tunnel) or I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel) for north/south routes. Commercial vehicles carrying materials that are prohibited in the tunnel crossings, including recreation vehicles carrying propane, should plan on using I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) between Essex and Glen Burnie. This will add significant driving time.