Cargo Freighter Pilot Calls for Help Before Bridge Collapse, NTSB Reveals

Federal safety officials have disclosed new details regarding the tragic collapse of a highway bridge into Baltimore Harbor, revealing that the pilot of the cargo freighter had radioed for tugboat assistance and reported a power loss just moments before the incident. The revelations came from audio recordings retrieved from the ship’s “black box” data recorder, shedding light on the events leading up to the disaster.

Additionally, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board highlighted structural vulnerabilities in the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which lacked engineering redundancies found in newer spans, potentially contributing to the catastrophic collapse.

The incident occurred as the Singapore-flagged container ship Dali, departing from Baltimore Harbor en route to Sri Lanka, lost power and collided with a support pylon of the bridge, causing a significant portion of it to crumble into the Patapsco River. The aftermath has led to the closure of the Port of Baltimore, disrupting shipping operations along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Tragically, divers recovered the remains of two of the six missing workers, whose bodies were found in a submerged red pickup truck near the fallen bridge. Efforts to retrieve additional bodies have been suspended due to hazardous conditions in the wreckage-strewn harbor, with sonar images indicating more vehicles submerged in debris, posing challenges for recovery teams.

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