Baltimore bridge collapses after being hit by containership M/V DALI 26 Mar 2024


(  A key bridge in Baltimore, Maryland USA, has collapsed into the river after being struck by a container ship.

A view of the Singapore-flagged container ship 'Dali' after it collided with a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., in this picture released on March 26. Harford County MD Fire & EMS/Reuters
The M/V Dali's (300m, 9,962 TEU containership) was at the time on time charter to Maersk. Its owner is listed as Grace Ocean, a Singapore-based firm, its manager is listed as Synergy Marine Group, which is also headquartered in Singapore. The allision incident is being seen as a developing mass casualty incident with multiple vehicles and many individuals said to be in the water.

Video courtecy of CNA.

Reports indicate that at least a dozen cars hit the 47 degree water in addition to a 20 or so construction workers who were working on the bridge at the time.

There appeared to be an explosion on the container ship as it collided with the bridge, which is named for the writer of the Star Spangled Banner and known locally as the Key Bridge, sending containers and diesel flooding into the water.

Synergy Marine Group, the manager of the Dali, confirmed that the ship had collided with one of the pillars of the bridge. It said all crew members, including the two pilots, had been accounted for and there were no reports of any injuries.
M/V DALI (IMO: 9697428) container ship (built 2015)
The M/V Dali was built in 2015 by the South Korea-based Hyundai Heavy Industries. The following year, the ship was involved in a minor incident when it hit a stone wall at the port of Antwerp. The Dali sustained damage at the time, but no one was injured.
Ship manager/Commercial managerSYNERGY MARINE PTE LTD
Ship Registered ownerGRACE OCEAN PTE LTD
Ship ChartererMAERSK
Ships belonging to the same company whose container vessel crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge have been cited in recent years for labor violations, which include underpaying ship crews and holding crew members on board for months past their contracts, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
In 2021, the authority detained the Western Callao, another ship formerly owned by the company, the Singapore-based Grace Ocean Private Ltd, after it found the management was in arrears paying 13 crew members and had kept them onboard the ship for more than 12 months, well beyond their nine-month contracts. In 2020, an inspection of the same ship in Australia found that eight sailors had been onboard it for more than 11 months.

Another ship owned by Grace Ocean, the Furness Southern Cross, had 10 seafarers onboard for more than 14 months. The infractions were “serious and shameful” violations of MLC, Michael Drake, the executive director of operations for the authority, said at the time, in October 2021.

Video courtecy of Insider News.

Any factors about the crew of the Dali, the Grace-owned container ship, including fatigue, will likely be among the many items the US National Transportation Safety Board examines as it looks for the cause or causes of the crash.

Grace Ocean owns 55 ships, according to Equasis, a public database of ship information. While global companies such as Maersk charter the vessels, the owners and the ship managers are generally responsible for managing the crew and maintaining the ships. The management company for the Dali, Synergy Marine, was not the company managing the two vessels cited by AMSA.

Lastly, the Dali has had 27 Port State Control inspections since 2015, according to Equasis. The only other deficiency, a damaged hull “impairing seaworthiness,” was found in 2016, at the port of Antwerp, in Belgium. The vessel hit a berth at the port that year.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading an investigation into the crash, with particular attention likely to be paid to the previously detected propulsion deficiency. NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy mentioned that the investigation would leverage on-board voice recorders and examine the vessel’s operating history, among other aspects. Notably, Homendy highlighted the cooperation with Singaporean authorities, reflecting the international dimension of maritime safety and regulation.

The NTSB investigation will likely take a year to complete and maritime experts expect a public hearing will be scheduled sooner. As the investigation progresses, both the maritime industry and regulatory bodies will eagerly anticipate findings that can help prevent similar incidents in the future, thereby ensuring the safety of maritime operations and infrastructure.




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