Baltimore, MD - Container Ship Strikes Francis Scott Key Bridge - Mass Casualty Situation

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True. Maybe it really is just an accident then. A tragedy. Hopefully the bodies can be found, and the bridge rebuilt to be more sturdy…though I don’t entirely know what bridges can withstand an impact such as this one. Not an engineer.
I think that's all everyone wants at this stage. The work crew's families to bury their loved ones, the channel to be cleared and the ship freed so that people can keep their jobs, and the bridge to be built back as best as it can be, with any modern safety adaptations deemed necessary. Dolphins and sturdier structure probably wouldn't have made a difference with THIS specific accident, which all the engineers seem to be saying was inevitably going to destroy any bridge because physics, but they may help with safeguarding against the smaller bumps and glancing grazes that a bridge accumulates throughout its 'lifetime'.

MOO
 
True accidents like this one usually have to have multiple things go wrong at the wrong time and this one seems that way too.

1) A bridge built in the 70s that did not have concrete or rock barriers built to shield a direct hit on a pier.
2) A huge oversized cargo ship with gross weight of around 200,000,000 lbs barreling downstream at 8 knots (9.5 mph).
3) Power to go out within a couple of hundred yards of the bridge as it was going down current.

Problems in the past with ships striking bridges used to be navigational during fog, rain, etc.. but with GPS that seems to have been improved.
 
True. Maybe it really is just an accident then.
Hitting the bridge was certainly an accident, and no fault of the crew or the ship that had no power to steer at all and was at the mercy of the current. The question is What caused the power failure? Didn't an earlier post here say it was reported that bad fuel may have caused the generators to fail or something like that? Where was the ship fueled up at? This port or elsewhere? Wherever it was, there must have been others who received the same fuel that may have been contaminated. Shouldn't they be taking safety measures accordingly?
 
Hitting the bridge was certainly an accident, and no fault of the crew or the ship that had no power to steer at all and was at the mercy of the current. The question is What caused the power failure? Didn't an earlier post here say it was reported that bad fuel may have caused the generators to fail or something like that? Where was the ship fueled up at? This port or elsewhere? Wherever it was, there must have been others who received the same fuel that may have been contaminated. Shouldn't they be taking safety measures accordingly?
Certainly any allegation that fuel contamination, possibly and presumably loaded in port, fouled the electrical generators must be thoroughly evaluated.
 
HYDERABAD: One of the two pilots from the 22-member all-Indian crew of the Singapore-flagged vessel 'Dali,' which collided with a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, has sustained an injury.

"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 the hospital," Owners Grace Ocean Pte Ltd & Ship manager of 'Dali' informed on March 27.

The names of the 22 crew members and the two pilots have not been disclosed.

*I suppose the crew of 22 +2 pilots will also be subjected to drug and alcohol testing? Yes? No?

Noted upthread re: drug and alcohol testing. Sounds like it is a standard part of the investigation process.

The report said the pilot will undergo “post-accident drug and alcohol testing.”
 
Vice Admiral Peter Gautier, who is the deputy commandant for Operations for the United States Coast Guard shared similar sentiments. He said the cargo ship, DALI, remains in the water but it is stable.

Gautier added there are hazardous materials onboard but "there is no threat to public." He also said the ship had "a fairly good record."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said it's too soon to say how long it will take to reopen the Port of Baltimore or replace the bridge, noting that "it's not going to be simple."

"Rebuilding will not be quick or easy or cheap, but we will get it done," Buttigieg said during a media briefing at the White House.


"This will be a long and difficult path but we will come together and rebuild," he added, noting that the original bridge took five years to construct.

“That does not necessarily mean it will take five years to replace,” he said.





 
Noted upthread re: drug and alcohol testing. Sounds like it is a standard part of the investigation process.

I would think that the ship owner or charterer might have wanted to drug/ alcohol test the crew, in case there was some malfeasance with the running or maintenance of the generators or electrical system, with loading or storing the fuel, or a thousand other things that could be determined to be human caused, or human-facilitated.

There are a lot of human actions in this story and not everything is exclusively a mechanical fault.

But it's too late now for testing the crew, anyway.
 
True accidents like this one usually have to have multiple things go wrong at the wrong time and this one seems that way too.

1) A bridge built in the 70s that did not have concrete or rock barriers built to shield a direct hit on a pier.
2) A huge oversized cargo ship with gross weight of around 200,000,000 lbs barreling downstream at 8 knots (9.5 mph).
3) Power to go out within a couple of hundred yards of the bridge as it was going down current.

Problems in the past with ships striking bridges used to be navigational during fog, rain, etc.. but with GPS that seems to have been improved.

I might add:

4) Bridge design that did not limit the structural damage to a localized area, but allowed propagation of the collapse.

(With apologies to professional engineers, safety specialists, and accident investigators)

All of this shows a complex and exhaustive, multiparameter investigation will be needed. A giant Root Cause Analysis.

It will probably identify the Holes in the Swiss Cheese that cause such unexpected outcomes, and the recommendations and actions flow from that process. ( This is a concept used in medical care issues, but is also applicable to negative outcomes of all types)


 
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So sad, not only did I used to drive over it daily many years ago; it was beautiful to see from Ft McHenry and the history is important to our nation, imo, because of the naming and location.
My prayers for the family's of the lost but to the first responders and divers. These divers know they are looking for the passes and some of them may well have helped to find the little boy many years ago after a tour boat accident right by there
 
So sad, not only did I used to drive over it daily many years ago; it was beautiful to see from Ft McHenry and the history is important to our nation, imo, because of the naming and location.
My prayers for the family's of the lost but to the first responders and divers. These divers know they are looking for the passes and some of them may well have helped to find the little boy many years ago after a tour boat accident right by there
There is something elegant about a gentle sweeping arch of steel. That's why so many people come here to Sydney to take pictures of the Harbour Bridge.

I hope that whatever form the new Key Bridge takes, it will be just as beautiful, and that the people of Baltimore will love it just as much as the former incarnation.

MOO
 
There is something elegant about a gentle sweeping arch of steel. That's why so many people come here to Sydney to take pictures of the Harbour Bridge.

I hope that whatever form the new Key Bridge takes, it will be just as beautiful, and that the people of Baltimore will love it just as much as the former incarnation.

MOO
thank you. i know you bridge is beautiful!
 
There was smoke as well. Maybe a fire? Just seems like negligence according to the records.
I saw a video of an experienced engineer suggesting the first plume of smoke was from the generators coming on after the power outage and the second bigger cloud of smoke was from the engines trying to reverse/hard turn the ship after the gens came on. If that is the case it was exhaust, not smoke from a fire.
 
I saw a video of an experienced engineer suggesting the first plume of smoke was from the generators coming on after the power outage and the second bigger cloud of smoke was from the engines trying to reverse/hard turn the ship after the gens came on. If that is the case it was exhaust, not smoke from a fire.
I think the generator was able to restore electrical functions briefly but not powerful enough to power the engines. MOO
 
Vice Admiral Gautier assures the public that as of now, there is no risk to the public from the fuel, oil, or hazardous materials carried by the ship. The two containers knocked into the water did not contain hazardous materials.

That is a bit of good news!

Have we heard more about the two people who were rescued? Were they vehicle occupants or part of the bridge workers?
 
Musing about how the shipping trade and the Port of Baltimore have changed since the FSK Bridge was finished in 1979.

"With the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016 to allow deeper and wider lanes for larger ships to pass through, Baltimore and other Atlantic coastal ports now can receive the larger cargo-carriers, often from the Far East, that previously were limited to the Pacific Coast. Indeed, Baltimore's 50-foot (15.2 meters) shipping channel and two 50-foot container berths allow it to accommodate two of the largest container ships in the world at the same time. On July 19, 2016, the Ever Lambent, a cargo-carrier from Taiwan, was the first supersized container ship to reach Baltimore through the Panama Canal."

"In 2023, the Port ranked first in the nation in handling automobiles, light trucks, farm and construction machinery, as well as imported sugar and gypsum. The Port ranked second in the country for exporting coal. In 2022, the Port ranked sixth for importing coffee, 119,000 tons worth $609 million."

"The top export commodities by weight in 2022 were coal, liquefied natural gas (LNG), wastepaper, ferrous scrap, and automobiles/light trucks. The top imports were automobiles/light trucks, salt, paper/paperboard, gypsum, and plywood/veneer/particle board."

"In 2023, cruises carrying more than 444,000 passengers departed from the Port of Baltimore's cruise terminal. The Port of Baltimore's cruise industry supports over 400 jobs and brings in over $63 million to Maryland's economy."


It's all very clear that this has been a hugely successful port that has posted yearly growth with increased volume and revenue. A major workhorse for east coast shipping and trade.

The implications for the local, east coast, and midwest economies in this loss of trade is substantial, if there is a significant delay in re-opening this port because of removal of the debris or demolition of remaining bridge structures.

Then the bridge rebuilding is a completely different concern.

 
That is a bit of good news!

Have we heard more about the two people who were rescued? Were they vehicle occupants or part of the bridge workers?
They were both members of the work crew. One was some kind of official, I believe, overseeing things. One was unharmed, one hospitalised but released after treatment. One of them is Mexican. All three of the families of the Mexican victims have asked for privacy, and their names have not been released.

The two named deceased victims were from El Salvador and Honduras respectively. Both had lived and worked in the US for the better part of twenty years. They were married and had multiple children each.

The two other deceased victims who are unnamed were Guatemalan.
 
Here's an image of the Dali with an apparently much lighter load:

What is astonishing is that some of the super container ships allow stacking of containers 25 high on the deck. This photo only shows containers 5 stacks high.
1711567568275.png
 

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