Baltimore Key Bridge collapse: Dali cargo ship warned it had ‘lost control’ moments before collision

The container ship that crashed into a Baltimore bridge and caused cars to tumble into the freezing Patapsco River warned it had lost control as it was leaving the port.

Crew onboard the Singapore vessel Dali had reportedly notified Maryland officials that they had lost propulsion, shortly before they crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

“The vessel notified MD Department of Transportation (MDOT) that they had lost control of the vessel and a collision with the bridge was possible,” ABC News reported.

The report by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency added: “The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse.”

Two people have been rescued from the waters, with one in critical condition, while a desperate search is currently underway for at least seven people who remain missing.

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A view of the bridge and debris in the Patapsco River


Kevin Cartwright, the spokesperson for Baltimore City Fire Department, said that as many as 20 people could be in the river along with “numerous vehicles, and possibly a tractor-trailer or a vehicle as large as a tractor-trailer, (that) went into the river.”

“This is a mass-casualty, multi-agency event,” he said. “This operation is going to extend for many days.”

Dramatic videos show the 1.6mile long bridge crumpling into the water shortly after 1.30am, with the headlights of vehicles seen in the footage as it collapsed.

Maryland governor Wes Moore has declared a state of emergency while the FBI in Baltimoor said they were “on scene”, while it has been confirmed that there is no indication of terrorism.

“Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,” said mayor Brandon Scott, calling it “an unthinkable tragedy.”

Parts of the Francis Scott Key Bridge remain after the collision


Synergy Marine Group – which owns and manages the Dali – confirmed the vessel hit a pillar of the bridge while it was in control of two pilots.

It confirmed all 22 crew members, including the pilots, were accounted for and there were no reports of any injuries. The ship had only travelled four miles from the Seagirt Marine Terminal on its journey to Sri Lanka when it crashed.

A loss of propulsion, which according to an unclassified report was the reason behind the collision, is the failure of the propulsion system to steer and navigate the vessel.

As a result of the incident and ongoing recovery efforts, all Baltimore port traffic is suspended until further notice.

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