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Baltimore Bridge Collapse Conspiracies Debunked!

Take a look at the conspiracy theories surrounding the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, after it was hit by a ship, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Baltimore Bridge Collapse Conspiracies… So Far!

Right after news broke that the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after being hit by a massive container ship, some people immediately began suggesting there was more to the tragedy than meets the eyes…

Lara Logan : Welcome to the world of cyber terrorism.
Acc to intel sources: The Baltimore bridge collapse was a 9/11 style attack but they won’t admit it and we cannot see it because it was a CYBER ATTACK.

Lauren Witzke : You know things are getting bad when you can’t tell the difference between DEI incompetency and terrorism.

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Baltimore Bridge Collapse Conspiracies Debunked!

This is yet another example of fake news created or promoted by conspiracy theorists and conspiracists, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Baltimore Bridge Collapsed After Being Hit By Ship

Let me start by simply pointing out that the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed on March 26, 2024, after being hit by a massive cargo container ship.

This Baltimore bridge did not collapse after an explosion. Neither was its collapse caused by a planned demolition in a false flag operation.

The viral video showing the bridge collapsing after an explosion is actually a video showing the partial collapse of the Crimean Bridge after being hit by a truck bomb on 8 October 2022. It has nothing to do with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Fact #2 : Baltimore Bridge Opened In 1977

Constructed over a period of five years at an estimated cost of US$110 million, the Francis Scott Key Bridge opened in 1977. It is a 4-lane steel bridge that spanned 2.6 km across the Patapsco River, where its namesake wrote the Star-Spangled Banner in 1814 after witnessing the British defeat at the Battle of Baltimore, and the British bombing of Fort McHenry.

After the bridge collapsed, other ships could no longer leave the Port of Baltimore. Over 40 ships remain trapped inside the Baltimore port, while another 30 ships that planned to make port are no longer able to do so.

The key point is this – this bridge was built 47 years ago under Republican president Gerald Ford, and opened under Democratic president Jimmy Carter. There was no DEI at that time, and its design and construction had nothing to do with the present Biden Administration, including current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

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Fact #3 : The Container Ship Lost Power

The Dali is a massive Singapore-flagged container ship that is 289 meters long, and holds up to 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) cargo containers. At the time it hit the bridge, it was carrying 4,679 TEU containers of cargo.

It was just leaving the Port of Baltimore just after midnight when it lost power. Not only were the crew blinded in the dark, none of its electronics worked and there was no propulsion, so they were unable to control the ship.

As the crew tried unsuccessfully to restart its engine, a local pilot onboard the vessel ordered the ship to be steered to port (left), and the anchor to be dropped. While the crew managed to restore electrical power using an emergency generator, they were not able to restart its engines.

With the ship floating adrift, the two local pilots onboard issued a mayday call at 1:30 AM to warn authorities that a collision was imminent, which allowed them to stop traffic from going over the bridge. A Maryland Transportation Authority official was recorded saying at that time:

There’s a ship approaching that has lost their steering. Until you’ve got that under control, we’ve got to stop all traffic.

According to NTSB investigator in charge, Marcel Muise, the recovered voyage data recorder (VDR) helped them establish the timeline of events:

12:39 AM : Dali departs Seagirt Marine Terminal

1:07 AM : Dali enters Fort McHenry Channel

1:24 AM : Numerous alarms were recorded on audio at the ship’s bridge, and data recording stopped (due to power loss) before resuming shortly from a redundant power source.

1:26 AM : The pilots onboard Dali made a high frequency radio call for tugboats to assist the Dali.

1:27 AM : The pilot dropped the port anchor and made another radio call reporting that the Dali lost all power, and was approaching the bridge.

1:29 AM : The Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge’s support pylon, causing it to collapse.

The video below, which is being shared on WhatsApp, does not accurately reflect the truth – the ship never regained the use of its engines, but it clearly shows when the ship lost power, and when it restored electrical power.

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Fact #4 : No Evidence It Was A Planned Attack

There is no evidence that this accident was a planned attack, a cyberattack or a false flag operation.

For one thing – the Dali is owned by Singapore-based Grace Ocean, and managed by Singapore-based Synergy Marine Group, and it was chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk to carry cargo. It is highly unlikely that those Singaporean and Danish companies would be involved in a planned attack.

On top of that, there were two local pilots onboard the Dali. If it was a planned attack, they would be complicit in a plot that would have involved dozens of people and intricate planning… for the “terrifying” purpose of collapsing a single bridge. Hardly makes for a great movie plot, don’t you think?

The Baltimore Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a press statement, that “There is no specific and credible information to suggest any ties to terrorism at this time.

United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron also dismissed those claims in a public statement, saying “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.

Fact #5 : Dali Was Inspected Twice Last Year

Dali was involved in a July 2016 accident, in which it hit a quay as it tried to exit the North Sea container terminal at the port of Antwerp in Belgium. That incident, which damaged several meters of its hull, was blamed on the ship’s master, and the local pilot onboard.

The Dali was inspected twice last year. According to Equasis, an inspection that was carried out in June 2023 in San Antonio, Chile, found that the Dali had “propulsion and auxiliary machinery” deficiencies. The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said a faulty monitor gauge for fuel pressure was rectified before the vessel departed the port.

In September 2023, the Dali underwent another inspection, this time by the US Coast Guard in New York, but that inspection did not find any deficiencies at that time. However, that does not mean that the Dali did not suffer engine failure before colliding into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Until investigations into the Dali are complete, anyone who claims that the collision was intentional is likely lying to you.

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Fact #6 : Loss Of Power May Be Caused By Dirty Fuel

The loss of power experienced by the Dali is common in the maritime industry (source) – as many as 600 cases each year according to FuelTrust, although most occur in open water. They are often associated with poorly mixed fuel, or changing from high-sulphur to low-sulphur fuels when entering coastal emission control areas (ECAs).

In fact, shipping experts think “dirty fuel” may be the reason for Dali to lose power before smashing into the Francis Scott Key Bridge (source).

That power loss could have been caused by dirty fuel clogging filters that lead to the ship’s main generator.

While inside a port, as the Dali was before the collision, ships typically run on a relatively light diesel fuel. That also could have been contaminated. Common contaminants include water, dirt and algae. He definitely could have had dirty fuel

– Gerald Scoggins, a veteran chief engineer in the oil and gas industry and the CEO of the Houston company Deepwater Producers

Ian Ralby, the CEO of I.R. Consilium, a maritime and resource security consultancy, also said heavy marine fuel loaded onto ships in port is mixed with what is called cutter stock, and is prone to being loaded with contaminants and is not closely regulated. Such dirty fuel could have “gummed up all of the fuel lines on the ship.”

Fact #7 : Baltimore Bridge Was In Fair Condition

According to a press aide for Pete Buttigieg (source), the Francis Scott Key Bridge was last inspected in May 2023, and “found to be in satisfactory condition with an overall rating of fair”. Such inspections are supposed to occur every 24 months

Previously, Federal Highway Administration records show the bridge was last inspected in May 2021. Back then, inspectors rated its condition as “fair” with a rating of 6 (satisfactory) out of a maximum of 9, on three parameters.

To be clear – these inspections were being carried out on the bridge every 2 years, regardless of who happens to be the Transportation Secretary at that time.

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Fact #8 : Baltimore Bridge Location + Design Was Problematic

In light of the accident, experts are highlighting the problems with the location of the bridge’s piers and its design.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a steel truss suspension bridge with three centre spans held up by piers. Engineering experts that 11 News spoke to questioned why those piers were built so close to the shipping channel. They also pointed out that the bridge piers were not built to handle such ship collisions.

The way that it collapsed, I think that was surprising to some people, in particular, because one of the piers was hit, but all three of the spans collapsed. That’s a function of the continuity of the bridge.

So, there is a lot of load-sharing that goes on among those three spans, and so, if two of them are damaged or destroyed, as was the case here, by their support, direct support being removed, then the third span is going to be severely impacted and collapsed as well.

– Rachel Sangree, an associate teaching professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering

In other words – the Francis Scott Key Bridge did not collapse due to controlled demolition. Its three spans collapsed after the pier was hit due to its suspension design.

Fact #9 : Baltimore Bridge Lacked Pier Protection

Roberto Leon, a Virginia Tech engineering professor, also highlighted the fact that the piers lacked protection:

The only way the post can resist it is by bending. But it cannot absorb anywhere near the energy that this humongous ship is bringing. So it’s going to break.

If a bridge pier without adequate protection is hit by a ship of this size, there is very little that the bridge could do.

After the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Maryland discussed installing pier guards, but decided against it as it was too expensive.

I think they would have been effective in all this. They would have reduced the impact, or at least prevented the ship impacting directly the piers because the way it went, it looked almost effortlessly the same. The vessel hit the pier and it just went and there was no hesitation. The bridge couldn’t handle it at all. So, I think the fenders, the bumpers would help.

– Abieyuwa Aghayere, a civil engineering professor at Drexel University

Just to be clear – this decision was made more than 20 years ago, and had nothing to do with the current Biden Administration, or current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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