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Following the Baltimore bridge collapse, US President Joe Biden in a statement thanked the Indian crew onboard the Singapore-flagged cargo ship Dali for alerting the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel. Due to this, the bridge could be closed to traffic and “it undoubtedly saves lives”.

The Singapore-flagged container ship ‘Dali’ had reported a power outage before impact. MDT officials had stopped traffic on the bridge before it collapsed.

“Personnel on board the ship were able to alert the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel, as you all know and have reported.  As a result, local authorities were able to close the bridge to traffic before the bridge was struck, which undoubtedly saved lives,” Biden told the media. 

However, six people were working on the bridge when the incident occurred. They were reported missing and are feared dead. Reacting to this, Biden said, “Our prayers are with everyone involved in this terrible accident and all the families, especially those waiting for the news of their loved one right now. I know every minute in that circumstance feels like a lifetime. You just don’t know.  It’s just terrible.”

ALSO READ: Heartfelt condolences on ‘unfortunate accident’ at Baltimore bridge: Indian Embassy in US

The Singapore-flagged container ship “Dali” collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on Tuesday. The entire 22-member crew of the cargo ship was Indian. A company named, Grace Ocean Private Ltd owns the vessel and the ship’s movement was outbound from Baltimore to Colombo.

The “Dali” has a capacity of 10,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) and onboard Units: of 4,679 TEU. The collision caused the bridge to snap and plunge into the river below. According to the Associated Press, as the ship neared the bridge, there were puffs of black smoke that could be seen as the lights flickered on and off.

Biden said that ship traffic in the Port of Baltimore has been suspended until further notice.

Dali’s Previous Hiccups

In 2016, the same ship was involved in an incident in the port of Antwerp, Belgium hitting a dock as it tried to exit the North Sea container terminal. The Antwerp port authorities said the container ship Dali hit a quay on July 11, 2016, as it tried to exit the North Sea container terminal. The port authorities said the ship had remained at the dock for repairs for some time after the incident, reported Reuters citing public data from the Equasis website, which provides information on ships.

The same website stated, that during an inspection in 2023, San Antonio, Chile found “propulsion and auxiliary machinery” deficiencies.

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