Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Cargo Vessel Crash

The propulsion failed on the cargo vessel, Dali, that struck the Francis Key Bridge in Baltimore on 26 Mar 2024 as it was leaving the Baltimore port for Colombo, Sri Lanka. This caused the Baltimore bridge to collapse into the frigid Patapsco River. Its crew warned Maryland officials of a possible collision because they had lost control. Reports say that the crew warned of the possible collision of the vessel with the bridge. Eventually, the vessel struck a support pillar of the bridge causing a complete collapse.

What happened

According to reports, the vessel, Dali, was involved in at least one prior accident when it collided with a shipping pier in Belgium. The 9-year-old container ship had passed previous inspections during its time at sea. During one inspection in June 2023 at the Port of San Antonio in Chile, there was a deficiency with its “propulsion and auxiliary machinery (gauges, thermometers, etc),” according to reports. However it was noted that it was not serious enough to remove the ship from service.

The vessel, Dali, chartered by Maersk and managed by Synergy Group, was carrying around 4,900 containers. Understand there was a mayday sent out to the authorities to stop the flow of traffic and clear the bridge before the crash. There are assumed to have been 20 cars on the bridge during the collapse. There were also construction crew members who were filling in potholes along the bridge. When the bridge collapsed completely, all those on it fell into the 47° waters. The Coast Guard has deployed 4 boats, dive teams, and a helicopter, in efforts to rescue those who fell into the Patapsco River.

There are updated reports that active rescue efforts are suspended about 18 hours after the accident due to increasingly treacherous conditions in the darkened, wreckage-strewn waters. Currently, six workers were missing and presumed dead due to the water condition and the length of time elapsed since the accident. Authorities are hoping to return when conditions permit in an effort to recover the workers’ remains. We are sending our thoughts to those who are affected by the collapse.

Bigger disaster avoided

As the crew reported a power failure before impact, officials could attempt to stop traffic on the bridge before the Baltimore Bridge collapses. The mayday call by the crew enabled officials to close the bridge before the accident, preventing a bigger disaster. It is understood that the bridge was up to code with no known structural issues and no evidence of foul play was suspected.

Effect on Shipping

With the closure of one of the country’s busiest shipping lanes, a major and protracted impact to supply chains is expected. Efforts to reroute affected shipments are happening. Disruption are expected but would likely be minimal. Shipments will be rerouted to other ports like New York or New Jersey. Shipments will then be arranged by land to their desired destination. This will most likely cause congestion and delays for importers. Vehicles are currently advised to use other roads for their delivery to avoid adding further congestion and delays.

Due to the uncertainty at this time, there is no timeline on when the channel in Baltimore will reopen. Please feel free to contact us on the alternative routes for your shipments to Baltimore.

More information:-

Baltimore bridge collapse wasn’t first major accident for giant container ship Dali
BREAKING: MV Dali Cited for Propulsion Issues Before Baltimore Incident
MV Dali
What we know about the container ship that crashed into the Baltimore bridge
Baltimore bridge collapses after Singapore-flagged ship collision; MPA to assist in investigations
Cargo ship that hit Baltimore bridge was involved in Antwerp collision in 2016

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