FBI Launches Criminal Probe into Baltimore Bridge Collapse as Salvage Efforts Continue

The FBI has launched a criminal probe into the deadly collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, raising questions about maritime safety and aging infrastructure. Salvage efforts are underway to reopen the crucial East Coast shipping hub.

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FBI Launches Criminal Probe into Baltimore Bridge Collapse as Salvage Efforts Continue

FBI Launches Criminal Probe into Baltimore Bridge Collapse as Salvage Efforts Continue

The FBI has initiated a federal criminal investigation into the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, which occurred on March 26 when a cargo ship crashed into one of the bridge's supports. The incident resulted in the deaths of six construction personnel, with two bodies still unaccounted for.

The investigation will focus on the circumstances leading up to the crash of the container ship Dali, which lost power shortly after leaving the Port of Baltimore and veered off course, striking the structure. Investigators are examining whether the crew knew of serious problems with the ship's electrical systems before setting out.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and US Coast Guard are conducting separate probes into the cause of the incident. The NTSB has interviewed key personnel from the Dali as part of its investigation, which is centered on the ship's engine room equipment.

Why this matters: The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge has had far-reaching consequences, leading to the indefinite suspension of vessel traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore, a crucial hub in the East Coast's shipping infrastructure. The incident has also raised questions about maritime safety regulations and the maintenance of aging infrastructure.

Salvage crews are currently working to remove thousands of tons of debris that landed on the Dali's deck during the collapse. About 120 containers have been lifted from the ship so far, with another 20 to go before workers can begin removing the mangled steel and concrete. The goal is to refloat the ship and guide it back to the Port of Baltimore.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore has made rebuilding the bridge an urgent priority, emphasizing its vital role as a transportation link for the region. President Biden has called on Congress to authorize the federal government to fully fund the cleanup and reconstruction efforts, which would require bipartisan support.

Attorneys representing the families of the victims and a survivor have stated that no warning was given to the workers before the ship collision. They are conducting an independent investigation and plan to fight a motion filed by law firms representing the parties responsible for the Dali, which seeks to limit the amount of damages that could be awarded.

Governor Moore has outlined four key initiatives to address the aftermath of the incident, including efforts to remove the excess steel from the wreckage, provide financial assistance to affected businesses and individuals, and coordinate the cleanup and recovery efforts with various officials and agencies. The Maryland government has announced a $15 million Workers Support Program to provide aid to affected individuals, including micro-enterprises and solopreneurs.

As the investigation into the cause of the bridge collapse continues, crews are working to reopen the port's main channel, which has been blocked since the incident. The US Army Corps of Engineers expects to open limited access to the port by the end of April and full access by the

Key Takeaways

  • FBI launched criminal probe into Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore.
  • Cargo ship Dali crashed into bridge, killing 6 construction workers, 2 still missing.
  • Collapse led to indefinite suspension of vessel traffic in Port of Baltimore.
  • Rebuilding the bridge is an urgent priority for Maryland's governor and Biden.
  • Cleanup and recovery efforts underway, with limited port access expected by April.