Baltimore has ‘long road ahead’ after bridge disaster – as update given on ship crew

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The governor of Maryland has said “we have a very long road ahead of us” after a cargo ship crashed into a bridge – as all crew on board were confirmed to be in “good health”.

Governor Wes Moore spoke about the clean up after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge during a news conference on Thursday.

He offered a rallying cry to his city and said that with “all speed and safety” they would rebuild the Francis Scott Key bridge but that they faced a “very long road ahead”.

He added: “I’m calling on everyone to do their part – in this game, no one gets to sit on the side lines. We need every single Baltimorer and every single Marylander to help us.”

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The Dali, a 300m (985ft) vessel, struck one of the bridge’s supports, causing it to break and fall into the water.

The vessel was headed from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the time, according to data from Marine Traffic.

Now, leaders from across different levels of the US government were working together to raise the funds to rebuild the bridge, he added.

More on Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Britannia, the insurer of the Dali cargo ship, is also working with the vessel’s owner and US authorities on the investigation into the collapse of the bridge.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that was struck by a container ship in Baltimore, Md., on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.  The container ship lost power and rammed into the major bridge causing the span to buckle into the river below. (Maxaar Technologies via AP)
Image:
This satellite image shows a view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that was struck by a container ship in Baltimore

HOW DID THE BALTIMORE BRIDGE COLLAPSE UNFOLD?

Here we take a look at an update timeline of the collapse on Tuesday 26 March from the NTSB.

• 12.39am: The ship departed from Seagirt Marine Terminal.

• 1.07am: The ship had entered the Fort McHenry Channel.

• 1.24am: The ship was on a heading underway on a true heading of approx. 141 degrees at a speed of 8 knots / 9.2mph

• 1.24.59am: Numerous audible alarms were recorded on the ship’s bridge audio. At around the same time, VDR sensor data ceased recording, but it still picked up audio using the redundant power source.

• 1.26.02am: VDR resumed recording sensor data. Steering commands and rudder orders were recorded on the audio at this time.

• 1.26.39am: The ship’s pilot made a general very high frequency (VHF) radio call for tugs in the vicinity to assist. At the same time the pilot association dispatcher phoned the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) duty officer regarding the blackout.

• 1.27.04am: The pilot ordered the Dali to drop the port anchor and ordered additional steering commands.

• 1.27.25am: The pilot issued a radio call over the VHF radio, reporting that the Dali had lost all power and was approaching the bridge. MDTA data shows that their duty officer radioed two of their units on each side of the bridge to close traffic. All lanes were then shut down by MDTA.

• 1.29am: The ship’s speed over ground was just under 7 knots / 8pmh.

• 1.29.33am: The VDR audio recorded sounds consistent with the collision of the bridge, and MDTA dash cameras show the bridge lights extinguishing.

• 1.29.39am: The pilot reported the bridge down over the VFH radio to the Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, of the 21 crew members, 20 are said to be Indian nationals according to the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, who confirmed they were in “good health”

He said: “Our information is that there are 21 crew members, of which 20 are Indians. All of them are in good shape, good health.

“One of them got injured slightly, needed to have some stitches. The stitches have been given, and he’s then gone back to the ship. Our embassy is in close touch with the Indians, onboard and also with local authorities in this matter.”

It comes after authorities said a pilot on board the vessel tried to swing it clear of a collision by dropping its port anchor to pivot it away.

The pilot and a second on board at the time of collision will be interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Thursday.

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CCTV shows the vessel osing power, start smoking and eventually hitting the Baltimore bridge.

The US Coast Guard also confirmed the container ship’s engines had undergone routine maintenance while in the Baltimore port.

Earlier, the bodies of two victims were recovered from a red pick-up truck that was found in the Patapsco River, around 25ft deep in the water.

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NTSB timeline of events

00:39 - VDR recorded ship’s departure from Seagirt Marine Terminal

01:07 – Ship had entered the Fort McHenry Channel

01:24 – Ship was on a heading under way on a true heading of approx 141 degrees at a speed of 8 knots/9.2mph

01:24:59 – Numerous audible alarms recorded on ships bridge audio – at same time, the VDR stopped recording sensor data, but continued to record audio using redundant power source

01:26:02 – VDR sensor data recording resumed. Steering commands and rudder orders were recorded on the audio during this time

01:26:39 – Pilot made general VHF (very high frequency) call for tugs in the vicinity to assist. At the same time, the power of association dispatcher phoned the Maryland Transport Authority (MDTA) duty officer regarding the blackout

01:27:04 – Pilot ordered the Dali to drop the port anchor and ordered additional steering commands

01:27:25 – Pilot issued a radio call over the VHF radio reporting the Dali had lost all power and was heading towards the bridge. Around this time MDTA data shows the following also occurred: the duty officer radioed to their units that were already on scene due to construction on the bridge – one on each side of the bridge – and ordered them to close the traffic on the bridge. All lanes were then shut down by MDTA

01:29 - Ship’s speed was just under 7 knots/8pmh and from 01:29:00 to 01:29:33 the ship’s audio recorded the collision of the bridge

01:29:39 – Pilot reported the bridge down over the audio to the coast guard

Four other people are still missing – all are construction workers who were said to be working in the middle span of the bridge, according to Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders.

They are all presumed dead.

Colonel Roland L. Butler Jr from Maryland State Police said that further efforts to recover remains were being suspended because of the increasingly treacherous conditions.


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Officials said the recovery mission is now a salvage operation because it is no longer safe for divers to navigate or operate around the debris and concrete in the port.

Police have said sonar vehicles have led officials to believe the vehicles still trapped underwater are encased in concrete and the structures that crashed down after the collision.

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