Indian Sailor Injured After Ship Rammed US Bridge Received Stitches, Returned To Vessel

A sailor among the 20 Indian nationals whose cargo ship lost power and rammed a bridge in US’ Baltimore received stitches, before he returned to the damaged vessel, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said today.

“There were 20 Indian crew members. One was injured. He was treated, and given stitches. He has now returned to the ship,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told reporters today.

New insights into the fatal disaster emerged a day after the massive Singapore-flagged container ship Dali sailing out of Baltimore Harbour bound for Sri Lanka reported losing power and the ability to manoeuvre, before ploughing into a support pylon of the bridge.

The impact brought most of the bridge tumbling into the mouth of the Patapsco River almost immediately, blocking shipping lanes and forcing the indefinite closure of the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest on the US Eastern Seaboard.

Earlier on Wednesday, a team of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) boarded the idled freighter to begin interviewing the ship’s two pilots and 21 regular crew members who remained on the vessel.

The pilot was heard calling for tugboat assistance several minutes before the crash, the first indication of distress to harbour officials, followed by a radio report that the ship had lost all power and was approaching the bridge, NTSB officials said at a news briefing on Wednesday night.

Video footage that captured the accident show the ship’s lights winking off, then back on briefly before the vessel’s lights go out again.

Investigators said recorder data was “consistent with a power outage” but that an actual blackout had yet to be confirmed. The recorder also picked up commands to the crew to drop anchor, presumably aimed at slowing the vessel.

Of the ship’s 4,700 cargo containers, 56 hold hazardous materials, but there is no threat to the public. Two containers went overboard during the crash, but they did not contain hazardous materials. The ship was carrying more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil.

With inputs from Reuters

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