Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Large Explosion' Of Francis Scott Key Bridge -- It's A Video From October 2022

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Large Explosion' Of Francis Scott Key Bridge -- It's A Video From October 2022 2022 Video

Does a video show an explosion on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, that collapsed on March 26, 2024? No, that's not true: The video shows an explosion on a bridge over the Kerch Strait between Russia and Crimea in October 2022. At the time of writing there is no evidence that an explosion was involved in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge after one of the bridge supports was hit by a ship.

The claim appeared on X, formerly Twitter, published on March 26, 2024, (archived here) which opened:

Alternate angle on Francis Scott Key bridge shows a large explosion 👀

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-03-26 at 6.58.04 AM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Mar 26 11:59:17 2024 UTC)

A reverse image search (archived here) of a still image from the X video resulted in evidence of that same still being found in a October 2022 New York Post article titled, "Massive fireball that destroyed part of Russia-Crimea bridge seen in wild video" (archived here).

A Google News search of "Francis Scott Key Bridge AND explosion AND Baltimore, Maryland" (archived here) did not yield any results that would back up this claim.

Searching for "francis scott key bridge collapse" (archived here) on YouTube resulted in multiple videos of the moment the bridge in Baltimore collapsed. In a CBS Evening News video (archived here), for example, at 0:41, a reporter remarked that a "ship hit one of the columns and then the bridge just collapses into the water." Throughout the entire video, the reporter does not mention an explosion as the cause of the bridge collapse.

NBC New York posted a recording of the March 26, 2024, press conference (archived here) held by Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. At 0:45, Wallace recounted the events that happened after 1:40 a.m., the time the first 911 call was placed for a water rescue, according to him:

At some point during that chain of event of calls, we began to receive indication that a ship may have struck the [Francis Scott] Key Bridge. We got further information through multiple calls that the Key bridge, portions of the Key bridge had actually collapsed.

According to The Associated Press, two people were rescued with one in "serious condition." At the time of writing, rescuers were searching for "at least seven people in the water," according to the AP article.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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