Container Ship Crew Still on Vessel in Baltimore

( – The crew of the cargo ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge remain stranded on board while workers continue to remove the collapsed bridge bit by bit and authorities investigate the crash. The Dali ship, operated by a Singaporean company but crewed by 20 Indians and 1 Sri Lankan, is currently immovable as it is stuck under part of the fallen bridge. The crew is engaged in maintaining the ship as much as is possible under current conditions.

Although investigating officers and other officials have been able to board and disembark the ship in the aftermath of the catastrophic crash, which killed six of the eight workers who were on the bridge at the time, the crew have not been permitted to leave. While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been examining the collision, the crew have been confined to their ship. They have been described as feeling “rattled” by the disaster, and afraid of what the public’s perception of them may be. Despite this fear, many locals have been quick to offer help to the men, providing them with books and Wi-Fi in order to keep their spirits up.

According to Chirag Bahri, from the International Seafarer’s Welfare and Assistance Network, it may yet be some months before all the crew can leave if they are required to stay behind to help with the investigation. Reverend Joshua Messick, of the Baltimore International Seafarer’s Center, said that while the crew felt apprehensive about discussing the crash or the state of their ship publicly, they were answering the questions put to them by investigators.

Work to clear the collapsed bridge from the river is ongoing but requires great care. Maryland Governor Wes Moore described the work as “dangerous” but urgently needed, as so many ships have been delayed in their business since the disaster occurred on Tuesday, March 26. The debris has blocked a vital shipping route and port, resulting in dock workers losing a total of $2 million each day, and 155,000 jobs currently at risk. Gov. Moore announced that to mitigate the economic impact, another smaller shipping route has been established near the bridge while the recovery and reconstruction efforts are under way.

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