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Entire crew of cargo ship that crashed into Baltimore bridge are Indians: company

The Singapore-flagged container ship ‘Dali’, which was headed for Sri Lanka, hit one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge at approximately 1:30 am local time.

In an aerial view, the cargo ship ‘Dali’ sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland, the US. According to reports, rescuers are still searching for multiple people, while two survivors have been pulled from the Patapsco River. The accident has temporarily closed the Port of Baltimore, one of the largest and busiest on the East Coast of the US. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE entire 22-member crew of the cargo ship that collided with a major bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday (26), causing it to snap and plunge into the river below, are Indians, the company said.

The Singapore-flagged container ship “Dali” hit one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at approximately 1:30 am local time.

According to the vessel information provided by the Synergy Marine Group, the crew was “all Indian, 22 in total”.

The “Dali” has a capacity of 10,000 TEU. All the crew members had been accounted for and none of them received injuries, it was reported.

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Grace Ocean Private Ltd owns the vessel and the ship’s movement was outbound from Baltimore to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Owners and managers of the Singapore-flagged container ship “Dali” report that the vessel collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore, whilst under pilotage with two pilots onboard, at approximately 01:30 local time on March 26, ship management company Synergy Marine Group said in a statement.

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“All crew members, including the two pilots, have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries. There has also been no pollution,” it said. Whilst the exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined, the “Dali” has now mobilised its Qualified Individual Incident Response service.

The US Coast Guard and local officials have been notified, and the owners and managers are fully cooperating with Federal and State government agencies under an approved plan.

“We are horrified by what has happened in Baltimore, and our thoughts are with all of those affected,” Maersk said in a statement.

“We can confirm that the container vessel ‘Dali’, operated by charter vessel company Synergy Group, is time chartered by Maersk and is carrying Maersk customers’ cargo. No Maersk crew and personnel were onboard the vessel,” the statement said. “We are closely following the investigations conducted by authorities and Synergy, and we will do our utmost to keep our customers informed,” it said.

Maryland governor Wes Moore said that his office is in close communication with US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County executive Johnny Olszewski, and the Baltimore fire department as emergency personnel are on the scene following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Moore also said that the vessel, which was going at a speed of eight knots (nine miles per hour), issued a Mayday call moments before the collision and this helped in saving many lives as some road traffic could be halted.

“These people are heroes. They saved lives last night,” he was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

Still, more than a dozen cars reportedly fell into the water along with many people.

State of emergency declared

Moore has declared a state of emergency in Maryland and said: “We are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration.

“We will remain in close contact with federal, state, and local entities that are carrying out rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy,” he said.

US president Joe Biden said in a post on X, “I made clear that we’ll send any federal resource they need as we respond to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and rebuild together.”

He also vowed to reconstruct the bridge at the earliest saying it is vital to the US economy.

It was unclear what caused the cargo ship to crash into the bridge in the major American city just outside of Washington.

(With agency inputs)

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