Police/Fire, Sci-Tech

NTSB Key Bridge preliminary report released

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BALTIMORE, MD—The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday released a preliminary report on the March collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge after it was struck by the M/V Dali cargo ship.

The 24-page report (PDF) says that, at just before 1:30 a.m. EDT on March 26, 2024, the 947-foot-long Singapore-flagged cargo vessel Dali was transiting out of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor when it experienced a loss of electrical power and propulsion and struck the southern pier supporting the central truss spans of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

A portion of the bridge subsequently collapsed into the river, and portions of the deck and the truss spans collapsed onto the vessel’s forward deck. A seven-person road maintenance crew employed by Brawner Builders—which was contracted by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)—and one inspector employed by Eborn Enterprises, Inc., a subconsultant to the MDTA, were on the bridge when the vessel struck it. The inspector escaped unharmed, and one of the construction crewmembers survived with serious injuries.

The bodies of the six fatally injured construction crewmembers have been recovered. One of the 23 persons aboard the Dali was injured.

The bridge wreckage atop the M/V Dali vessel was broken up into smaller pieces using precise explosive charges on Monday.

Interestingly, the report notes that the M/V Dali twice lost power the day before the crash. The U.S. Coast Guard classified this accident as a major marine casualty.

The full preliminary NTSB Key Bridge report can be viewed online here (PDF).

Photo via the NTSB

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