Baltimore claims Dali was ‘unseaworthy,’ accuses owners of negligence in bridge collapse 

The city of Baltimore on Monday claimed the owner and operator of the cargo ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge was in “unseaworthy condition” when it left the Port of Baltimore last month, according to a new report. He insisted that he could not escape responsibility. Documents filed with the court.

in court Documents to be submitted On Monday, lawyers for the city of Baltimore alleged that the container ship Dali’s owner, Grace Ocean Private, and its operator, Synergy Marine Group, were guilty of “serious and potentially criminal negligence.”

“For more than 40 years, cargo ships have sailed beneath the Key Bridge without incident thousands of times each year,” the lawyers wrote. “Nothing was supposed to change for March 26, 2024.”

However, Grace Ocean Private and Synergy Marine Group “determined that it was appropriate to launch a clearly unseaworthy vessel into the ocean,” the lawyers wrote. “In no way should their responsibilities be limited.”

The 984-foot cargo ship Dali was leaving the Port of Baltimore en route to Sri Lanka on March 26 when it lost power and crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The bridge collapsed and fell into the Patapsco River.

The ship alerted police to a traffic stop shortly before the collision, but the eight people working on the bridge were unable to get off and were thrown into the sea during the collision.

Two workers were rescued and survived, and the bodies of four victims were recovered. Two additional workers remain missing and are presumed dead.

The city attorney pointed out that: Associated Press reporting An investigation on April 15 revealed that the container ship was experiencing apparent electrical problems several hours before leaving port. The Associated Press reported this, citing a person familiar with the situation.

“None of this should have happened. Reports indicate that even before leaving port, alarms were sounding indicating that Dali’s power supply was inconsistent. Conditions clearly unsuitable for navigation. Nevertheless, the Dali set sail anyway,” the city’s attorneys wrote.

In the days following the bankruptcy, Grace Ocean and Synergy asked a federal court last month to limit their liability to about $43.6 million.

The city argues that liability cannot currently be limited without a trial, which could reveal the company’s “failures.”

The ship was valued at up to $90 million and owed more than $1.1 million in cargo revenue, according to filings. Lawyers pointed out that her repairs would total about $28 million, with at least $19.5 million in salvage costs.

The Hill has reached out to Synergy for further comment.

The FBI opened a criminal investigation into the accident earlier this month. The focus will be on the circumstances that led to the bridge collapse and whether all federal laws were followed.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.