Baltimore bridge collapse sparks baseless attack theories

Baltimore bridge collapse sparks baseless attack theories

In this aerial image, the steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after the bridge collapsed in Baltimore, Maryland on March 26, 2024
In this aerial image, the steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after the bridge collapsed in Baltimore, Maryland on March 26, 2024. Photo: Jim WATSON / AFP
Source: AFP

Conspiracy theorists said Tuesday that the Baltimore bridge collapse resulted from an intentional attack -- despite officials quickly saying there was no evidence of foul play.

Hours after a container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, sending vehicles and people plunging into the US city's frigid harbor, users across X and other platforms blamed everything from terrorists to Israel.

Among the most widespread posts came from influencer Andrew Tate, who told his nine million followers on X that the 300-meter vessel "was cyber-attacked."

"Lights go off and it deliberately steers towards the bridge support," the US-born Briton said. "Foreign agents of the USA attack digital infrastructures. Nothing is safe."

InfoWars founder Alex Jones, found liable in multiple defamation lawsuits for claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting was a hoax, reposted the allegation.

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"Looks deliberate to me," he said. "A cyber-attack is probable. WW3 has already started."

There was no immediate confirmation of the cause of the collapse, but Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said there was no indication of terrorism.

Footage appeared to show the ship going dark twice in the moments before the collision, and Maryland Governor Wes Moore said during a press conference Tuesday that "the crew notified authorities of a power issue."

Moore added that officials had not seen "any credible evidence of a terrorist attack." Bill DelBagno, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore field office, also said there was no evidence of terrorism.

Those assurances have not stopped the deluge of rumors on X, where some accounts are linking the tragedy to the United States' abstention in a UN Security Council vote calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war.

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"Did Israel just hit the US over not using the Veto power yesterday??" one account said in a post with thousands of interactions.

Others blamed the bridge collapse on the Islamic State group or corporate diversity initiatives that have become a flashpoint ahead of the US presidential election, while suggestions of a "false flag" populated the most conspiratorial pages.

Synergy Marine Group, the managers of the Singapore-flagged Dali container ship controlled by two Baltimore port pilots at the time of the collision, said the cause of the crash has yet to be determined. None of the crew were injured.

Source: AFP

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