Footage does not show a large explosion on Baltimore bridge before collapse

26 March 2024
What was claimed

Footage from a different angle shows an explosion on the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore before its collapse.

Our verdict

This video shows an explosion on Kerch bridge between Crimea and Russia in 2022. There have been no reports of any such explosion on the Francis Scott Key bridge.

A video of an explosion on a bridge has been circulating on social media with false claims it shows an “alternate angle” of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore, in the US.

The footage shows cars travelling both ways across a bridge before a significant explosion. The clip does not show the bridge collapsing. 

One post sharing the video on X (formerly Twitter) has more than 2,700 shares and says: “Alternate angle on Francis Scott Key bridge shows a large explosion”. The clip has also been shared multiple times on Facebook with the same caption.

This comes as the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed on the morning of 26 March 2024 after a 290-metre-long Singapore-flagged container ship collided with it. A number of vehicles are believed to be in the water and rescue efforts for between seven and 20 people are underway at the time of writing.

However, the viral video actually shows CCTV footage of an explosion on the Kerch bridge between the annexed Crimea peninsula and Russia in October 2022. 

Ukraine later accepted responsibility for the attack, which reportedly caused the partial collapse of two sections of the bridge. According to Moscow, the explosion was caused by a truck bomb and three people were killed in the attack. Other analysts suggested the explosion came from underneath the bridge by boat, or by divers placing explosives on the bridge’s pillars.

Moreover, genuine footage of the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsing shows there was no such explosion, although there does appear to be smoke coming from the container ship as the bridge collapses on to it. 

Full Fact frequently finds miscaptioned videos on social media particularly in relation to global news events including natural disasters and the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.  

It’s important to consider whether a video has been shared by a credible source and whether it shows what it claims to before sharing it online—you can find our guides on identifying misleading content during conflicts and beyond on our website. 

Image courtesy of Jeremy Smith

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