Indian Embassy in US condoles bridge accident in Baltimore

New York: The Indian Embassy in the US has condoled the “unfortunate accident” in Baltimore where a cargo ship manned by a 22-member Indian crew, struck and demolished a key bridge, an accident that may have killed six people and brought one of the most important ports in the northeast US to a grinding halt.

Several vehicles were crossing Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which is more than 2.6 km-long when it collapsed after the container ship collided with one of its supports on March 26 early morning. Officials said the Singapore-flagged ship ‘Dali’ suffered a “power issue” and issued a distress call moments before the crash.

US President Joe Biden, in remarks at the White House, said the alert sent by the ship’s crew before the collision saved lives. “Personnel on board 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.

“Our heartfelt condolences to all affected by the unfortunate accident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore,” the Indian Embassy in the US said in a post on X. It said that the Embassy has created a dedicated hotline for any Indian citizens who may be affected or require assistance due to the tragedy. The Embassy is ascertaining details regarding the vessel’s crew.

Ship management company Synergy Marine Group said in a statement that the crew on Dali is “All Indian, 22 in total.” “All crew members, including the two pilots, have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries. There has also been no pollution,” it said.

Some of the individuals missing after the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge are Mexican nationals, according to Rafael Laveaga, Chief of the Consular Section of Mexico’s Embassy in Washington. After an entire day of search and rescue operations, the US Coast Guard said it was suspending operations since it was unlikely the remaining workers would be found alive.

Authorities said that a mayday call by the vessel’s crew enabled officials to stop vehicular traffic from coming onto the bridge, “undoubtedly” saving many more lives.

Image courtesy of X

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