Criminal Probe Launched Into Bridge Collapse

Criminal Probe Launched Into Bridge Collapse

( – The FBI is investigating what caused a large container ship to strike the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore in March. The devastating accident dealt a major blow to the region’s infrastructure and left many experts warning that repairs could stretch on for years and cost millions of dollars.

The Dali, a Singaporean-flagged vessel owned by Grace Ocean Private Limited, departed from Baltimore’s Seagirt Terminal during the early morning hours of March 26. For reasons that remain unclear, the cargo boat began experiencing mechanical issues at around 1:25 a.m. It lost power and careened into the side of the bridge just three minutes later.

The collision had immediate and catastrophic consequences for those in the area and Baltimore as a whole. Although the captain was able to issue a distress call in time for authorities to begin shutting down the bridge, at least six construction workers died in the ensuing collapse. The failure of such a critical transportation link also interrupted traffic and caused serious disruptions throughout the city.

According to two anonymous US officials who spoke with the Washington Post, the Bureau hopes to find evidence of whether or not the crew of the Dali knew it had problems before leaving port. This includes the odd power outage the cargo ship suffered just before the crash.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing authorities board the cargo ship, which remains stranded at the site of the strike even now, during the early morning hours of April 15. However, the FBI did not officially confirm it had a presence in Dali until a few hours later. By early that afternoon, the Department of Justice had clarified that agents were conducting an official “court-approved search” as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched its own investigation into the crash almost immediately after it happened. This response is standard for any major accident involving waterways, roads, or bridges, but it appears to be focusing on many of the same potential elements of the disaster as the FBI.

During a press conference at Capitol Hill on April 10, Chairwoman Jennifer Homedy said that she and others at the NTSB believe the power failure likely contributed to the vessel veering off of its intended course. “Of course, that’s preliminary,” she cautioned. “It’s very early.”

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