Dali cargo ship now docked after it destroyed Baltimore bridge; investigations still underway

May 20, 2024, 12:22 PM | Updated: 12:26 pm

Crews work to move the cargo ship Dali in Baltimore, on May 20. The vessel on March 26 struck the F...

Crews work to move the cargo ship Dali in Baltimore, on May 20. The vessel on March 26 struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse and resulting in the death of six people. (Matt Rourke, Associated Press)

(Matt Rourke, Associated Press)

Baltimore (CNN)After 55 days stuck in the Patapsco River, the Dali cargo ship was hauled away from the site of its catastrophic crash into the Francis Scott Key Bridge – a crucial step toward fully reopening the busy Port of Baltimore.

Several tugboats started pulling the 106,000-ton vessel at around 7 a.m. Monday, officials said. The ship traveled about 1 mph to the Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore.

By late Monday morning, the Dali was docked at the terminal – the same spot it departed from on its ill-fated voyage almost eight weeks ago.

There, the ship will undergo any necessary, temporary fixes before more permanent repairs can be made, officials have said.

Federal authorities are still investigating why the cargo ship lost power, veered off course and smashed into the Key Bridge on March 26 – killing six construction workers.

But the Dali’s move from scene of destruction means authorities will soon be able to open more channels to and from the Port of Baltimore – a critical hub for commerce, especially for the sugar and automotive industries nationwide.

“We’ve been ahead of schedule with getting our channels open,” US Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kate Newkirk told CNN affiliate WBAL over the weekend.

“We plan to open a 400-foot by 50-foot channel (Monday) and, hopefully in the next week or so, we’ll be at that 700-foot channel, which is our goal.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said he expects the main federal channel that had been clogged by wreckage to reopen by the end of this month.

“I’m proud that we’re on track,” Moore told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “By the end of May, we’ll have that federal channel reopened.”

Authorities probe the cause of the calamity

Multiple investigations are underway to try to determine who might be responsible for the catastrophic crash. Last month, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced a probe “to hold the wrongdoers responsible and to mitigate the immediate and long-term harm” to residents.

The ship’s Singaporean owner, Grace Ocean Private Limited, and manager, Synergy Marine PTE LTD, filed a petition in federal court last month asking for a $43.6 million limit on potential liability payouts.

The city of Baltimore has asked the court to deny that request.

The FBI, the US Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are also investigating.

Last week, the NTSB released a preliminary report saying the Dali had a pair of electrical failures minutes before the collision, as well as two blackouts while the ship was in port one day earlier. One of those in-port blackouts was caused by a crew error, the report said.

The FBI and Coast Guard are looking into whether the crew failed to report the in-port power outage, according to a US official familiar with the matter.

The crew has been stuck for nearly 2 months

Explosives are detonated to free the container ship Dali after it was trapped following its collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge. (Leah Millis, Reuters)

The Dali’s 21-member crew has been confined to the ship since March 26 and will likely have to stay on board “for the foreseeable future,” the ship’s management company said.

There is no immediate plan for what the 20 Indian and one Sri Lankan crew members will do after the Dali is relocated Monday, said Barbara Shipley, mid-Atlantic labor representative for the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

The seamen’s one-month visas expired during the nearly two months they’ve been trapped on board, according to one of the unions representing the crew members.

The seafarers have been without their cell phones for more than a month because the FBI confiscated the devices as part of their ongoing investigation, Shipley said.

“It’s important to get these gentlemen back home to their families,” she said.

But international maritime regulations requires the vessel to have some staff on board. Shipley hopes officials will prioritize deciding which of the men can go home and which need to stay behind.

Though the seafarers have been stuck on board, they have not remained idle. They’ve played a critical role in maintaining the ship’s functioning and helping salvage crews navigate the boat, said Darrell Wilson, spokesperson for Synergy Marine Group – the company that manages the Dali vessel.

Synergy has provided mental health services for the seamen, who have been grappling with the deaths of the six construction workers killed in the crash.

“It has been tough for the seafarers, primarily (because) they know that there’s been loss of life,” said Gwee Guo Duan, assistant general secretary of the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union – one of the unions representing crew members on the Singaporean-flagged ship.

“It is tough for them, being on board and having to look at the accident site every single day.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

Contributing: Amanda Musa, Zoe Sottile, Chris Boyette, Nicole Grether, Gloria Pazmino and Jillian Sykes, CNN

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

A driver blinks their hazard lights as heavy rain falls over parts of South Florida on Wednesday, J...

Associated Press

Much of US braces for extreme weather, from southern heat wave to possible snow in the Rockies

After days of intense flooding in Florida, that state and many others are bracing for an intense heat wave, while the Pacific Northwest will experience unseasonably cold weather and there is a potential for late-season snow in the Rocky Mountains early next week.

19 minutes ago

The flag installation seen in June 2023 on the fence at Christopher Park is part of the Stonewall N...

Ashley R. Williams, CNN

LGBTQ Pride Month flags vandalized near Stonewall National Monument, police say

Flags dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month were vandalized this week in New York City, according to the city’s police department.

7 hours ago

Aerial view over the airport of Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, USA with view over the runway to the coastlin...

Gregory Wallace and Ross Levitt, CNN

FAA investigating Southwest flight that came within 400 feet of crashing into the ocean

A federal investigation is underway after a Southwest Airlines flight plunged toward the ocean off the coast of a Hawaiian island.

9 hours ago

Susan Elandt has owned a child care center in the small city of Waupaca, Wisconsin, since 2016. She...

Meena Duerson and Tami Luhby, CNN

‘Just too burnt out’: Child care crisis crunches providers

While the price of keeping children in care is sky-high, the burden of running childcare centers is equally unsustainable. Providers are burnt out.

12 hours ago

First responders arrive at Oaks Park for a ride that is stuck with multiple riders in Portland, Ore...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews have rescued 28 people after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park in Oregon.

24 hours ago

The OnlyFans logo is seen on a computer monitor in this posed photo, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in St....

Associated Press

Former Nashville officer arrested after allegedly participating in an adult video while on duty

A former Nashville police officer has been arrested for two counts of felony official misconduct after law enforcement officials say he allegedly participated in an adult video while on duty.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Dali cargo ship now docked after it destroyed Baltimore bridge; investigations still underway