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HomeLife InsuranceBaltimore Bridge Collapse Occurred After Ship Lost Power Multiple Times

Baltimore Bridge Collapse Occurred After Ship Lost Power Multiple Times

The container ship that rammed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in March lost power multiple times on both the day of the fatal accident and the day before, according to a preliminary report.

The Dali, which sails under the flag of Singapore, lost power twice on March 26 before hitting the bridge and causing it to collapse, killing six construction workers who were on the structure at the time. The first blackout was caused when electrical breakers powering most of the vessel’s equipment and lighting unexpectedly tripped, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report Tuesday.

The crew eventually was able to restore electrical power, but then a second blackout occurred only 0.2 miles from the bridge. They regained power, but the ship lacked the propulsion needed to avoid striking the bridge, safety inspectors found.

It wasn’t the first time the ship experienced blackouts. Two also occurred while the vessel was in the Port of Baltimore. The first, occurring about 10 hours before the vessel left port, was caused when a member of the ship’s crew mistakenly closed an inline engine exhaust damper, causing the engine to stall, the NTSB said. A second blackout occurred shortly afterwards due to insufficient fuel pressure for an online generator.

The Baltimore bridge collapse shut a major shipping and transportation artery and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. President Joe Biden has pressed Congress to quickly approve funds to rebuild the structure.

Photo: The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Maryland, US, on Sunday, May 12, 2024. The Key Bridge Unified Command is getting ready to remove the piece of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that fell on top of the Dali after the carrier ship crashed into the bridge in March, according to an emailed statement.

Copyright 2024 Bloomberg.

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