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

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The governor of Maryland has said Baltimore has “a very long road ahead” following the city’s bridge collapse – as it was revealed all the crew on board the ship that crashed into it are in “good health”.

Governor Wes Moore’s comments came as he spoke about the clean-up operation following the Francis Scott Key bridge disaster during a news conference on Thursday.

He offered a rallying cry to the city and said that with “all speed and safety” officials planned to rebuild the structure.

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

It comes after the Dali, a 300m (985ft) cargo ship, 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.

Officials from across different levels of the US government are currently attempting to raise funds to rebuild the bridge, the governor added.

Britannia, the insurer of the Dali, is also working with the vessel’s owner and US authorities on the investigation into what happened.

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.

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.”

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:
A satellite image of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Pic: AP

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

The pilot and a second senior member of staff on board at the time are to be interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Thursday.

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CCTV shows the vessel losing power, start smoking and eventually hitting the 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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Four other people are still missing, presumed dead.

They are all construction workers who were said to be working in the middle section of the bridge, according to Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders.

Colonel Roland L. Butler Jr, from Maryland State Police, said further efforts to recover remains had been suspended because of the increasingly treacherous conditions.

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

Police have said sonar information has led officials to believe vehicles still trapped underwater are encased in concrete and parts of the bridge that crashed down following the collision.

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