How the bridge collapse turned perfume into hazmat threat

By Robin Bravender | 04/12/2024 01:41 PM EDT

Containers carrying perfume and household supplies were “chopped in half like they’re papier-mâché,” said Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, left, and President Joe Biden walk.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D, left) and President Joe Biden walk to deliver remarks after an operational briefing on the response and recovery efforts of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge on April 5 in Dundalk, Maryland. Julia Nikhinson/AP

When Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed the morning of March 26, the wreckage toppled onto the massive containers carried by the cargo ship.

There were about 4,000 containers aboard the ship named Dali, each weighing an average of 1.5 tons when empty, Maryland Democratic Gov. Wes Moore said Thursday during a climate summit hosted by The Washington Post.

Moore described why some of the contents of those containers — including household goods — were classified as hazardous materials.


“We immediately had to do an assessment and do an inventory of what was actually on the Dali, how it was impacted,” Moore said.