Ship That Collided and Brought Down Baltimore Bridge Escorted to Port

The cargo ship that collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore returned to port last Monday with its bow still covered in fallen concrete and mangled steel trusses.

The Singapore-owned and managed Dali cargo ship was escorted by tugboats back to the Port of Baltimore nearly two months after it lost power and collided with one of the Key Bridge’s support columns, collapsing the bridge and killing six road workers making late-night pothole repairs.

Workers clearing the wreckage refloated the Dali Monday morning during high tide allowing the vessel to slowly move away from the wreckage site under the guidance of five tugboats. The Dali’s bow sustained massive damage in the collision with a gaping hole on the starboard side just above the waterline.

Work crews have spent the past two months removing thousands of tons of wreckage, during which the bodies of the six road workers were recovered.

According to officials, the Dali would remain for several weeks in the same terminal where it docked before setting off on its fateful voyage while undergoing temporary repairs before being transferred to the Norfolk, Virginia shipyard for extensive repairs.

One week earlier, crews demolished the last remaining span of the Key Bridge that rested across the bow of the Dali. After dive teams confirmed that the path was clear of the wreckage, crews re-floated the ship by releasing the Dali’s anchors and pumping out the over one million gallons of water that kept the grounded ship stable.

The Dali collided with the Key Bridge in the early hours of March 26 after it twice lost electrical power shortly after departing the Port of Baltimore on its way to Sri Lanka.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that the cargo ship experienced two similar power losses about 10 hours before leaving port. The crew changed the Dali’s electrical configuration by switching to a breaker system and transformer that had been unused for several months.

According to Port of Baltimore Director Jonathan Daniels, the full 700-foot channel to the port should be cleared by the beginning of June.