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The container ship Dali on March 26 in Baltimore

Ship ‘Dali’ That Crashed Into Baltimore Bridge Previously Collided With Antwerp Dock

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The ship that crashed into and toppled Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday morning previously was damaged after colliding with its berth in Belgium, records show.

The previous incident occurred in 2016, when the 300-meter long Dali had built up substantial stern momentum when it allided with the quay at Antwerp. 

“The Dali was attempting to leave the container terminal for Bremerhaven when the bow of the boxship swung around causing the the stern to scrap along the quay,” according to a report in Shipwreck Log. “The boxship sustained significant damage to several meters of its hull.”

The container ship was detained afterwards in Antwerp, the report noted. 

The Dali on March 26 was headed from Baltimore to Sri Lanka, under charter by logistics giant Maersk.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

The ship crashed into a support column for the Baltimore bridge around 1:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, after apparently losing power. As per local regulations, the ship was being piloted by a specialized crew as it left the Port of Baltimore.

The specialist pilots navigate the port, and then leave the ships as soon as they reach open water, Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said at a press briefing.

An initial report from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) found that the Dali ‘lost propulsion’ as it was leaving port. 

“The vessel notified MD Department of Transportation (MDOT) that they had lost control of the vessel and an allision with the bridge was possible,” the report said. “The vessel struck the bridge causing a complete collapse.”

Rescue crews were searching Tuesday for at least six people who are missing following the bridge collapse.

Construction crews and several vehicles were on the bridge when it fall, officials said. Two people have been pulled from the water, Baltimore city Fire Chief James Wallace told reporters during a Tuesday morning news briefing. One was taken to a trauma center in serious condition, while the other was unhurt.

Divers dealt with frigid water temperatures of about 48 degrees Fahrenheit as they searched for victims.

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