Sailors Head Home Months After Baltimore Bridge Crash

Sailors Head Home Months After Baltimore Bridge Crash - Merchant Navy Info - news

Eight crew members of the ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore are finally home after three months on the vessel.
On Monday, the Dali left the city’s port with only four original 21 crew members on board the Baltimore bridge crash ship.

Four tugboats assisted the 948-foot (289-meter) Dali on Monday morning as it traveled to Norfolk, Virginia. The trip is expected to take 16-20 hours.

On 26 March, the ship crashed, killing six repair workers on the bridge. Afterward, approximately 50,000 tones of wreckage had to be cleared, and the Dali had to be relocated to port before the Port of Baltimore shipping channel could fully reopen in June. The original crew, mostly Indians, were stuck on the ship as it languished in the channel. They couldn’t leave because they were considered witnesses and didn’t have valid visas or shore passes to enter the US.

Darrel Wilson, a spokesman for the ship’s management company, Synergy Marine, told the BBC that eight crew members have already returned home, and two more were due to leave the US soon.
“Four original crew members are helping with the movement of the vessel to Norfolk,” Mr Wilson said. “Then they will return to Baltimore.”

Baltimore Bridge Crash Investigation Update

Last week, Synergy Marine said that the remaining crew members would remain “to assist with the investigation.”
Days after Baltimore dropped a petition that would have prevented anyone from leaving before, they were questioned, news of the sailors’ departures emerged.

A deal between the city, the ship’s owner, and its management company allowed some of the men to leave.

However, they must be available for depositions even after they leave the US.

The justice department had already interviewed the crew. Investigators later said there was no reason to keep them in the US.

The National Transportation Safety Board said last month that the Dali lost power several times before it hit the bridge.

The US Coast Guard and the FBI are investigating the crash.

Officials expect the bridge will be rebuilt by 2028 at around $1.9bn (£1.5bn). The city has resisted attempts by the Dali’s owner to cap damages at $43m (£33.9m).

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