Advertisement

Experts Say Bridge Collapsed Because It Was Struck by Giant Ship

Ship Shape

Ever since a huge cargo ship leveled Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday — tragically killing six road crew workers — the internet has been filling up with deranged conspiracy theories.

But the simplest explanation is overwhelmingly the most likely: the impact caused catastrophic "structural failures" that the aging structure couldn't withstand, University of Warwick civil engineering professor Toby Mottram told the Independent.

"It’s conceivable that the piers weren’t designed to withstand the magnitude of today’s ship impacts, as vessels like the 'Dali' weren’t navigating the Port of Baltimore during the era," he told the newspaper.

Whether any bridge could have withstood such an impact is unclear. Reporters at the New York Times pulled out the calculators and determined that to stop the ship would have taken a third of the force "it took to launch the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo Moon missions."

Basically, an unstoppable force ran into a not-quite-indestructible object, with devastating consequences.

Clean Up

Still, there's been no end to the conspiracy theories. Toxic manosphere influencer Andrew Tate, for instance, asserted without evidence that the boat had been cyberattacked. Others have ludicrously suggested that diverse hiring practices were somehow responsible.

Back in reality, that's just garden-variety racism, and authorities say there's no evidence that terrorism was involved either. The more mundane explanation of corporate greed may have played a factor, though: it emerged after the collision that the company that had chartered the ship had been sanctioned last year for silencing a whistleblower who raised safety concerns.

Summing up the dismal state of online discourse, Canadian television producer and writer Emily Andras had a pithy comment on the social media platform X-formerly-Twitter.

"My crazy conspiracy theory is the bridge collapsed because it got hit by an absolute unit of a boat," she wrote. "The world is cray but sometimes shit still just... happens."

More on ships: Cargo Ship Spent Months With Captain's Corpse in Walk-in Freezer