The Ship That Brought Down Baltimore’s Key Bridge Has a Troubling Past

The Ship That Brought Down Baltimore’s Key Bridge Has a Troubling Past

The companies that own and operate the container ship that brought down the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore have been in trouble before, and so has the ship.

According to WDCW, the MS Dali damaged a quay wall in a collision on July 11, 2016, at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.

“That 2016 incident occurred as the Dali was leaving port in Antwerp and struck a loading pier made of stone, causing damage to the ship’s stern, according to VesselFinder.com, a site that tracks ships across the world,” USA Today reported Tuesday. “An investigation determined a mistake made by the ship’s master and pilot was to blame.”

The outlet the outlet that the ship had to be repaired and inspected after the accident.

“After an accident, an investigation will always be conducted by independent experts to determine the damage,” Elke Verbeelen, spokewoman for the Port of Antwerp, told WDCW in an email. “In this case, it was conducted by the nautical commission.”

Verbeelen said the Dali would have been prevented from leaving the port after the accident until “experts have determined that it can sail safely,” as would be the case in any such event.

The pier was also “seriously damaged,” USA Today added, and was closed as a result.

At the time, the Dali had been chartered by Maersk. It was also being chartered by Maersk at the time of the Baltimore accident, the outlet reported, citing information from VesselFinder.com, a ship-tracking website.

“We are deeply concerned by this incident and are closely monitoring the situation,” Maersk said in a statement to USA Today.

WDCW uncovered a number of lawsuits against Synergy Marine, the operator of the Dali, and Grace Ocean Private Ltd., which owns it.

Both companies are based in Singapore, the outlet noted.

“Maryland officials said the Dali ship bound for a week-long voyage to Singapore lost power and slammed into the bridge around 1:30 a.m., sending vehicles and pieces of the bridge into the water below,” WDCW reported Tuesday evening.

Two lawsuits were filed in 2019 by men allegedly injured on the ship.

One of them claimed that a rope ladder “snapped,” resulting in a worker receiving “several broken bones”; in the other, another man said that a hatch opening earlier than it should have resulted in injuries.

Two years later, in 2021, a Georgia longshoreman filed a third suit over a handrail that collapsed.

All three suits were settled, according to the outlet, which offered no comment as to whether the number of claims involving the Dali was unusual for a ship of its size and activity.

A fourth suit involving a Texas port worker allegedly being “pinned under some metal pipes” was reportedly dismissed, according to WDCW.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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