Image default

US authorities assume it was an accident

The investigation into the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is in full swing. However, the authorities currently see no indication that the crew of the freighter “Dali” intentionally drove the cargo ship into a bridge pillar.

In the middle of the night, the freighter “Dali” rams the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore – the four-lane bridge collapses, dragging cars and people into the water. According to the authorities, however, there is no evidence of a terrorist attack. “The preliminary investigation indicates an accident. We have found no solid evidence of a terrorist attack,” Maryland Governor Wes Moore said at a press conference.

A representative of the Federal Police FBI made a similar statement. There was no concrete or credible information to suggest the incident was related to terrorism, said investigator William DelBagno. Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley had previously stated that there was “no indication” that the ship's captain could have provoked the accident.

Crew reports power outage

Governor Moore also provided initial information about what happened on board the “Dali” before the freighter collided with the bridge pillar. According to the crew, there were problems with the electricity on board, he explained. Accordingly, the crew was able to send an emergency signal shortly before the collision.

Local officials would therefore have been able to stop traffic to prevent more cars from getting onto the bridge. Governor Moore initially did not provide any further information about the cause and course of the accident. The broadcaster ABC News had previously reported, citing US intelligence, that the ship had lost propulsion while leaving the port of Baltimore – the crew then reported that it was unable to maneuver.

Workers are said to have been on the bridge

As US media reported, citing the coast guard and the fire department, the first emergency calls were received around 1:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. German time). Surveillance camera videos shared on social media showed the ship ramming one of the support pillars, causing large parts of the bridge to collapse into the water. Several vehicles that were on the bridge at the time of the collapse also fell into the river.

According to Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld, there were workers on the bridge making concrete repairs at the time of the accident. But it is also not known how many people were there when virtually the entire part of the bridge, which was just over 2.5 kilometers long, collapsed.

US state of Maryland

Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

Six people are missing

Maryland Transportation Secretary Wiedefeld called the incident a “catastrophic collapse.” According to him, six people are still missing. Two people have been rescued so far, one of whom is in hospital. It is assumed that the victims were construction workers, explained Wiedefeld. The missing people are being actively searched for. In the meantime there had been talk of up to 20 missing people.

The damaged cointainer ship “Dali” belongs to the charter company Synergy Marine Group from Singapore. The Danish shipping company Maersk said it had chartered the “Dali” for transport from Baltimore to Colombo in Sri Lanka. According to the information, the crew is still on board and is said to be complete and well.

Interstate 695 over Patapsco River

The approximately 2.57 kilometer long bridge was completed in 1977. It is a four-lane road bridge over which the Interstate 695 highway, called the “Baltimore Beltway”, runs. The bridge connects the Hawkins Point and Dundalk neighborhoods, which are separated by the Patapsco River.

After the bridge collapsed, more than 40 ships had to remain in the port, which is considered the busiest US port for automobile transport. At least 30 ships were on their way to Baltimore. It is unclear whether and when they can arrive.

US government wants to cover costs

US President Joe Biden announced extensive financial support. “I intend for the federal government to cover the entire cost of rebuilding this bridge,” the head of state said at a press conference in Washington. “And I expect Congress to support my efforts.”

He promised Maryland Governor Moore that he would take every step to rebuild the bridge and reopen the Port of Baltimore, which lies just behind the Francis Scott Key Bridge, “as quickly as humanly possible.”

Related posts

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.