Indian crew being interviewed by US officials over bridge collapse

Wednesday 03rd April 2024 07:40 EDT

BALTIMORE: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been interviewing the ship’s captain, first mate, chief engineer, and one other engineer onboard the merchant vessel MV Dali, which struck Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said at a press conference.

Providing an update on the collapse of the bridge, Hornandy said there were 21 crew members, and two pilots onboard the Singapore-based Dali cargo ship when it crashed. Marcel Muise, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge, said that the recordings in what is equivalent to an airline’s box were in a foreign language and are currently being analyzed.

As the investigation proceeds, Deputy Commandant for Operations for the US Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Peter Gautier, highlighted that the crew, predominantly Indian and a few Sri Lankans, is cooperating with what they need. “They’re still there and very much engaged in the dialogue and the investigation,” he said.

While initial reports have said that the disaster occurred at least in part to the fact that power was lost on the ship, Homendy confirmed that the Dali currently has power. “They (crew) are not sitting in the dark, but it cannot move,” she said. Homendy said the investigation would be a “massive undertaking.”

Biden praises Indian crew

US President Joe Biden has commended the alertness of the Indian origin personnel aboard 'Dali' for preventing more casualties with their mayday call. "Personnel onboard 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," Biden said during his comments at the White House.

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