Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Ship Dali’s black box recovered, crew could be stranded on board for two weeks

US federal safety investigators recovered the data recorder, also known as black box, from the cargo ship that crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing its collapse into Patapsco River on Tuesday.

The US Coast Guard Cutter Frank Drew (R) patrols near the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after it was struck by the container ship Dali in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 27, 2024. (AFP)

This development comes as a team from the National Transportation Safety Board boarded the ship to collect the evidence for their inquiry.

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Speaking to CNN, agency Chair Jennifer Homendy, stated that investigators have acquired the ship’s black box and it will assist the team in developing a timeline of events that led to the tragedy.

The investigators will look into whether tainted fuel had played any role in the mishap, said sources familiar with the ongoing probe.

Homendy informed that the data recorder has been sent back to a lab for examination, and added that she hopes to “have that information to share with the public later today”.

On the basis of a preliminary probe, the FBI ruled out any connection between the collision and terrorism.

Meanwhile, all 22-Indian crew members of the vessel, including two local pilots, could be trapped on board for next two weeks as a portion of the Key Bridge crashed onto the ship’s back, reported Daily Mail.

Also Read: Baltimore bridge collapse: How Indian crew’s mayday warning saved US from major disaster

Ship’s weight led to the ‘catastrophic result’, says Buttigieg

While authorities investigate claims of the ship losing power before the collision, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg blamed the “almost-instant catastrophic result” on the ship’s weight and the load it was carrying.

Stressing on the need to prepare for a better future to mitigate any kind of threat, he told Good Morning America that “what we saw yesterday was just unimaginable in terms of the proportion of that ship.”

Also Read: Horrific moment Baltimore bridge collapses after struck by cargo ship. Watch

US authorities release first responders audio

Meanwhile, the Maryland Transportation Authority released dispatch recordings of authorities attempting to halt traffic over the Key Bridge after the pilot of the Dali Ship gave a mayday alert that the vessel was heading toward the bridge.

In the audio, the first responder can be heard on the tape suggesting that traffic had to be halted until the pilot regained command of the ship and asking whether there was anyone working on the bridge. As per officials, there were eight construction workers on the bridge at the time of mishap. While two have been rescued, the rescue operation has been re-launched to find six others who are still missing and are presumed dead.

“If we can stop traffic, just make sure no one’s on the bridge. Right now, I’m not sure where there’s a crew up there. You might want to notify whoever the foreman is to see if we can get them off the bridge temporarily,” one official can be heard saying.

But a few seconds later, an official declared that the bridge had collapsed.

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