Dali: Ship in deadly Baltimore bridge collapse leaves three months after disaster

24 June 2024, 16:24 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 19:09

A cargo ship that crashed into a US bridge and caused it to collapse - killing six people - has left Baltimore after undergoing repairs.

The Dali sailed out of the city on Monday morning, local time, heading for Virginia, nearly three months after hitting a supporting column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Six construction workers died after the collision, which investigators have said was caused by a power failure.

The vessel was refloated and guided back to port in May after spending two months stuck in the wreckage with a massive steel truss draped across its damaged bow.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation found the ship experienced two power outages in the hours before it left the Port of Baltimore.

It lost power again and veered off course before crashing into the bridge.

The NTSB is still investigating what caused the electrical failures while a criminal investigation has been launched by the FBI.

The ship's crew, who had been forced to stay in the country afterwards, have been allowed to leave, provided they were available to give evidence, thanks to an agreement confirmed by a federal judge.

Earlier on Monday, four tugboats helped the 984ft (300m) craft get moving shortly before 8.30am.

The Dali is scheduled to go directly to Virginia International Gateway where around 1,500 cargo containers will be offloaded to reduce draft, the US Coast Guard said in a statement.

From there, the vessel is scheduled to sail for Virginia's Norfolk International Terminal for further salvage and repairs from damage caused during the bridge collapse.

The Dali was sailing under its own power with a full crew of 22 and six salvage experts, according to the coast guard, which is overseeing the voyage and providing a 500-yard (457m) safety zone around it.

Earlier this month, officials announced the reopening of the Fort McHenry federal channel, after clearing wreckage from the channel, which measures 700ft (213m) by 50ft (15m).

Officials have said they hope to rebuild the bridge by 2028.

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The economic fallout from the collision has been severe, with thousands of longshoremen, truckers and small business owners suffering.

Authorities have prioritised reopening the port and restoring its traffic to normal capacity in hopes of easing the damage to local industry.