Ship that caused Baltimore bridge collapse ‘had apparent electrical issues’

15 April 2024, 18:14

Maryland-Bridge-Collapse
Maryland-Bridge-Collapse. Picture: PA

FBI agents were aboard the cargo ship on Monday conducting court-authorised law enforcement activity, the agency said in a statement.

The massive container ship that caused the deadly collapse of a Baltimore bridge experienced apparent electrical issues before it left port, according to a report hours after the FBI said it was investigating whether any laws might have been broken.

The Dali left Baltimore’s port early on March 26 laden with cargo destined for Sri Lanka when it struck one of the Francis Scott Key Bridge’s supports, causing the span to collapse into the Patapsco River and sending six members of a roadwork crew plummeting to their deaths.

Three of their bodies have been recovered.

The Dali experienced apparent electrical issues before leaving port, according to someone with knowledge of the situation.

Maryland-Bridge-Collapse
The bow of the container ship Dali remains stuck underneath sections of the fallen Francis Scott Key Bridge (Maxar Technologies via AP)

The person, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to comment, said alarms went off on the ship’s refrigerated containers while it was still docked in Baltimore, likely indicating an inconsistent power supply.

The ship’s crew was aware of the issues and indicated they would be addressed, according to the person.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board have said their investigation will include an inquiry into whether the ship experienced power issues before starting its voyage.

Board chair Jennifer Homendy said last week that the investigation is focused on the ship’s electrical system generally. The ship experienced power issues moments before the crash, as is evident in videos that show its lights going out and coming back on.

Ms Homendy said information gleaned from the vessel’s voyage data recorder is relatively basic, “so that information in the engine room will help us tremendously”.

The FBI said on Monday that it is conducting a criminal investigation into the bridge collapse that is focused on the circumstances leading up to it and whether all federal laws were followed, according to a different person familiar with the matter.

The person was not authorised to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

FBI agents were aboard the cargo ship on Monday conducting court-authorised law enforcement activity, the agency said in a statement.

It did not elaborate and said it would not comment further on the investigation, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Mayor Brandon Scott issued a statement on Monday announcing a partnership with two law firms to “launch legal action to hold the wrongdoers responsible” and mitigate harm to the people of Baltimore.

Mr Scott said the city “will take decisive action to hold responsible all entities accountable for the Key Bridge tragedy, including the owner, charterer, manager/operator, and the manufacturer of the M/V Dali, as well as any other potentially liable third parties”.

He said with the ship’s owner already seeking to limit the company’s liability, the city needs to act quickly to protect its own interests.

The Dali is managed by Synergy Marine Group and owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd., both of Singapore. Danish shipping giant Maersk chartered the Dali.

“Due to the magnitude of the incident, there are various government agencies conducting investigations, in which we are fully participating,” Synergy Marine spokesperson Darrell Wilson said in a statement Monday.

“Out of respect for these investigations and any future legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The investigation comes amid concerns about the safety of thousands of US bridges and days after more than two dozen river barges broke loose and struck a closed span in Pittsburgh.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Balloons with rubbish believed to have been sent by North Korea hang on electric wires as South Korean army soldiers stand guard in Muju, South Korea

North Korea flies balloons carrying rubbish over the South

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft of Singapore Airlines parked after the SQ321 London-Singapore flight that encountered severe turbulence, at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, near Bangkok, Thailand

Rapid changes in gravitational force ‘led to 178ft altitude drop on plane’

North Korea has been sending balloons of rubbish over the South

North Korea dumps 260 balloons filled with 'excrement' and rubbish on South

EU flags

Police search offices and residence of employee of European Parliament

A Phillips 66 Conoco fuel service station (Alamy/PA)

ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil in deal valued at 22.5 billion dollars

A technology expert claims to have found the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Expert claims to have found Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 wreckage on Google Maps

Spain Arab Nations

Palestinian PM visits Madrid after Spain recognises Palestinian state

Israeli soldiers drive an APC near the Israeli-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel

Three soldiers killed in Rafah, says Israeli military

Robert De Niro speaks to reporters in support of President Joe Biden across the street from former president Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York

Biden campaign sends De Niro to Trump trial to put focus on 2021 Capitol attack

The Singapore Airlines flight dropped 54 metres in 4.6 seconds, an investigation has found.

Singapore Airlines turbulence flight that left Brit dead 'dropped 54 metres in four seconds'

People queue to cast their votes at a polling station during general elections, in Cape Town, South Africa

South Africans vote in election seen as country’s most important in 30 years

Renowned Sherpa mountain guide Kami Rita, left, returning from Mount Everest after his record 30th successful ascent, arrives at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Friday

Record-holding Sherpa guide concerned about rubbish on Everest’s higher camps

Thailand Thaksin

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra indicted for royal defamation

APTOPIX Papua New Guinea Landslide

Mass evacuations in Papua New Guinea amid fears of further landslides

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians

Algeria proposes UN resolution demanding Israel halt offensive in Rafah

Venezuela Election

Venezuela revoke EU invitation to observe nation’s presidential election in July