Newswise — ALBANY, N.Y. (March 26, 2024) — A major bridge in Baltimore partially collapsed early Tuesday morning after it was hit by a container ship, sending several vehicles plunging into the water below and prompting a massive search and rescue effort.

The 948-foot vessel, called the Dali, is reported to have lost control as it was leaving the Port of Baltimore and shortly after crashed into a supporting structure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which carries Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River.

David Banks, a lecturer in the University at Albany’s Department of Geography & Planning, is the director of the department’s Globalization Studies program and teaches courses in urban planning and community development. He’s also the author of “The City Authentic: How the Attention Economy Builds Urban America.”

“The first priority has to be finding any and all survivors, but attention will soon turn toward the consequences of losing access to key infrastructure like bridges and ports which are key components of both local and national economies,” Banks said. “The port will be unusable while the remains of the FSK Bridge are removed. The Port of Baltimore is among the busiest ports in the country, in terms of traded goods. During this time, we can expect to see some fluctuations in the availability of goods that would have been exchanged at the port as ships and trucks get rerouted.”

Banks adds that this event builds on several transportation safety failures in recent years, including a door plug blowout during an Alaska Airlines flight and train derailment in Ohio, which both happened last year.

“We have seen significant failures in transportation in recent years, from Boeing airplanes, to frequent train derailments, and now this ship. In the case of Boeing and several railroad companies, it was found that these firms made decisions that cut costs and boosted stock prices at the expense of safety and reliability. While there is no information yet about whether The Dali’s owner Synergy Marine Group has changed operating procedures in this way, it may be something to look into.”

Banks is available for phone or live/taped interviews. UAlbany also has an on-campus television studio available for remote interviews.


About the University at Albany:

The University at Albany is one of the most diverse public research institutions in the nation and a national leader in educational equity and social mobility. As a Carnegie-classified R1 institution, UAlbany and its faculty and students are creating critical new knowledge in fields such as artificial intelligence, atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, education, public health, social sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering, informatics, public administration and social welfare. Our courses are taught by an accomplished roster of faculty experts with student success at the center of everything we do. Through our parallel commitments to academic excellence, scientific discovery and service to community, UAlbany molds bright, curious and engaged leaders and launches great careers.