1 Of 22 Indian Crew Was Injured During Collision With US Bridge: Report

The name and other details of the crew have not been released. (File)

New York:

One of the 22 Indian crew manning a cargo ship, Dali, which collided against a bridge in Baltimore has suffered a “minor injury” while the rest are all safe aboard the vessel, owners of the Singapore-flagged ship said on Wednesday.

The 2.6km-long, four-lane Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Patapsco River in Baltimore, came crashing down after Dali, a 984-foot cargo ship, collided against it in the early hours of Tuesday.

“We confirm the safety of all crew members and two pilots aboard ‘Dali’, with one minor injury reported. The injured crew member has been treated and discharged from hospital,” a statement by owners Grace Ocean Pte Ltd and ship manager of Dali, posted on the website of ship management company Synergy Marine Group.

The name and other details of the crew have not been released.

Authorities from the US Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board boarded the vessel to carry out investigations, it said.

Synergy had said in a statement Tuesday after the accident that Dali’s crew is “All Indian, 22 in total.” “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,” Synergy had said.

Synergy and Grace Ocean noted that “unfortunately”, the incident also impacted those who were on the bridge at the time.

“As per the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the search and rescue operation has been called off for the night. Six people are presumed dead. We extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected and their families. Our thoughts are with them as we coordinate closely with the authorities to manage the incident’s aftermath, including environmental impact assessments.” The company’s Emergency Response Team has been dispatched and is presently at Baltimore to support the ongoing efforts to ensure crew safety, maintain vessel integrity and facilitate the swift and safe reopening of the waterway, it said.

It noted media reports that US President Joe Biden and Maryland Governor Wes Moore had expressed “thanks to the vessel’s crew for issuing a mayday warning before the impact, which they said had probably saved lives.” Authorities too said that a mayday call by the vessel’s crew enabled officials to stop vehicular traffic from coming onto the bridge, “undoubtedly” saving many more lives. Construction crews were working on the bridge to repair potholes when the collision occurred. Two persons were rescued from the water, while six construction workers remained missing.

President Biden, in remarks at the White House, said “personnel on board the ship were able to alert the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel … As a result, local authorities were able to close the bridge to traffic before the bridge was struck, which undoubtedly saved lives.” Joe Biden said he was sending all the federal resources needed to respond to the emergency. We’re going to rebuild that port together,” he said.

He stressed that “everything so far indicates” that this was a terrible accident. “At this time, we have no other indication — no other reason to believe there was any intentional act here,” Joe Biden said.

The vessel is owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd and was outbound from Baltimore to Colombo and has a capacity of 10,000 TEU, with onboard units totalling 4,679 TEU. The vessel’s deadweight is 116,851 DWT.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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