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Orioles honor Maryland Transportation Authority’s quick response to bridge collapse before opening day

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Before the first pitch at Camden Yards to kick off the 2024 MLB season, the Baltimore Orioles honored the Maryland Transportation Authority for its quick response after the cargo ship crash that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The vessel struck the Baltimore bridge, named after the man who wrote America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” March 26.

Two bodies have been recovered during the search for victims after the bridge collapsed. 

As Camden Yards waited for the reigning AL East-champion Orioles to take the field, members of the MDTA were saluted as they stood behind home plate. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore stood next to them applauding along with the crowd.

Sgt. Paul Pastorek, K9 Unit, a 13-year veteran; Cpl. Jeremy Herbert, Central Command Detachment, a 19-year veteran; and Officer Garry Kirts, Central Command Detachment, a six-year veteran, were saluted in the third inning.


Moore also added a photo on X.

The MDTA responded swiftly to make sure the bridge would be shut down to approaching travelers, and audio from a dispatch went public to show how quickly the team knew something was wrong.


“I need one of you guys on the south side, one of you guys on the north side. Hold all traffic on the Key Bridge. There’s a ship approaching that just lost their steering. So, until we get that under control, we’ve got to stop all traffic,” one MDTA officer said before the ship rammed into the bridge. 

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Maryland Governor Wes Moore at Orioles game

Emergency crews were dispatched just minutes after the ship crashed into a support pillar and the bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River. First responders immediately entered the water, reporting people that were on the bridge. 

Moore is seeking $60 million in emergency funds to fast-track bridge reconstruction. 

General view of Camden Yards on Opening Day 2024

The Orioles blew out the Los Angeles Angels, 11-3, and Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander slugged their first home runs of the season. 

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