It's on us. Share your news here.

Cargo Ship Had Multiple Blackouts Before Striking Key Bridge: NTSB

Posted on May 15, 2024

BALTIMORE, MD — The container ship Dali suffered two electrical blackouts that led to major equipment failure before it struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing a span to collapse into the Patapsco River, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report gives the first detailed look into what happened as well as a comprehensive timeline of the hours leading up to the collision that killed six road construction workers, blocked access to the harbor and halted most maritime traffic through the city’s port.

In the report, officials wrote that the Dali had experienced electrical problems the day before the March 26 collision. In the hours before the ship left the Port of Baltimore on a voyage to Sri Lanka, the ship lost power twice.

According to officials, a mistake by a crew member working on a diesel engine part caused the first “in-port blackout.” A second blackout in port was attributed to “insufficient fuel pressure,” the report said.

“The NTSB is still investigating the electrical configuration following the first in-port blackout and potential impacts on the events during the accident voyage,” the report said.

The report comes a day after controlled explosives freed the Dali trapped under the Key Bridge wreckage. The operation happened Monday at 5 p.m. after being postponed twice because of weather.

A video of the detonation was posted here.

The controlled demolition will allow the Dali to be refloated and guided back into the Port of Baltimore. Once the ship is removed, maritime traffic can begin returning to normal, which will provide relief for thousands of longshoremen, truckers and small business owners who have seen their jobs impacted by the closure.

Crews on May 7 found the body of the sixth and final victim of the bridge collapse. Authorities identified the victim as construction worker José Mynor López, 37, of Baltimore. All six victims were road workers on the Key Bridge when the cargo ship Dali lost power and crashed into it on March 26.

The group of workers hailed from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

So far, about 6,000 tons of steel and concrete have been removed from the collapse site. Officials estimate the total amount of wreckage at 50,000 tons, about the equivalent of 3,800 loaded dump trucks.

Officials previously said they hoped to remove the Dali by May 10 and reopen the port’s 50-foot main channel by the end of May.

The Dali was scheduled to be refloated during high tide on Tuesday, officials said Sunday. They said three or four tugboats would be used to guide the ship to a nearby terminal in the Port of Baltimore. It will likely remain there for a few weeks and undergo temporary repairs before being moved to a shipyard for more substantial repairs.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe