Prominent Bridge Engineer 'Not Surprised' About What Happened in Baltimore

Prominent Bridge Engineer 'Not Surprised' About What Happened in Baltimore

A well-known British expert in bridge construction, renowned for his expertise in bridges, expressed a lack of surprise over the destruction of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The catastrophe occurred early Tuesday when the Dali, a container vessel en route to Sri Lanka, collided with the structure, causing it to plunge into the Patapsco River.

Ian Firth, after examining footage of the tragic incident, noted the presence of two marine barriers close to the bridge, designed to protect such infrastructures from ship collisions. These barriers, known as "dolphins," were highlighted in a Washington Post article as failing to prevent the disaster due to the Dali's angled approach towards the bridge.

Firth elaborated that the Dali's diagonal path bypassed the protective measures, leading to the bridge's downfall. He speculated that a direct hit, as opposed to an angled one, might have been thwarted by the dolphins, suggesting that additional protective barriers could have preserved the bridge's integrity.

The incident has reignited conversations about America's longstanding infrastructure woes, underscoring the preventable nature of the bridge's collapse. Constructed in 1977 and named after "The Star-Spangled Banner" lyricist Francis Scott Key, the bridge was marking its 47th year just days before its fall.

Before its collapse, the Key Bridge was celebrated as the second-longest continuous-truss bridge in the nation and ranked third globally, as per the American Civil Engineering Society.

The event also sparked unfounded speculation online, with some proposing the bridge had been deliberately sabotaged. Social media influencer Ian Miles Cheong wryly dismissed these theories, humorously suggesting P. Diddy was behind it to divert attention from his legal troubles, as reported by The Independent.

The same source disclosed the recovery of at least one body from the river post-collapse, along with the rescue of two individuals, one of whom needed hospital treatment. Rescue operations persist, aiming to locate six more people believed to be missing out of eight reportedly working on the bridge during the accident.

USA Today shared an update on the Dali's crew, reporting their safety and their anticipation for rescue. A seafarers' chaplain, Andrew Middleton, recounted accompanying them on a pre-departure shopping expedition to Walmart for essentials and snacks, unaware of the impending disaster.

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