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Ship That Wrecked Baltimore Bridge Lost Power Several Times Before Accident, NTSB Investigators Say

The container ship that collapsed Maryland’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in March lost power several times before the accident, investigators said Tuesday.

of dali The first power outage occurred on March 25 during maintenance at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal, about 10 hours before departure, the paper said. Marine survey interim report The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced the accident on Tuesday. The report revealed that during maintenance work, “crew members accidentally closed the in-line engine exhaust damper,” eventually causing the ship’s engines to shut down. Her one of the ship’s alternating current (AC) generators then started automatically.

A second power outage occurred because there was insufficient fuel pressure from the generator, and another alternator automatically turned on, the report said.

The first power outage after departure occurred at approximately 1:25 a.m. on March 26, when the ship was one mile from the bridge. Her two electrical breakers, which provided power to most of the ship’s equipment and lighting, tripped. All lights on the ship went out and most of the ship’s equipment lost power.

Loss of power to the engine cooling water pumps shut down the main engines and the ship lost propulsion. All three steering gear pumps lost power and the rudder stopped working. The ship’s voyage data recorder temporarily stopped recording ship system data, but audio continued to be recorded.

The crew began lowering anchor, reported the power outage to Maryland Transit Authority police and the U.S. Coast Guard, and requested a tugboat, which quickly responded, the report further revealed.

Crews restored power within three minutes, but a second outage occurred when two breakers operating on two other AC generators tripped. The third alternating current generator automatically started up, and the emergency generator also began supplying power to the emergency equipment.

However, the main engine remained stopped because the emergency generator could not restart the engine without all four alternators. As a result, the ship was unable to regain propulsion, the report said.

One of the pilots issued a warning to all water traffic, MDTA ordered the bridge closed to all traffic, and crews partially restored power. Maintenance personnel remained on the bridge.

The ship remained without propulsion and crashed into the bridge before tugboats arrived at around 1:29 a.m., just three minutes after the first power outage after departure. (Related: The ship that knocked down the Baltimore Bridge has had previous accidents, including hardware problems in the past)

Six of the seven bridge maintenance workers were killed, and the seventh survived but was seriously injured. the NTSB said. An inspector working with maintenance personnel narrowly escaped unscathed and made it to the nearest survival span of the bridge just before collapse. Also one of the 23 crew members on board the ship. dali The report said he was injured by falling debris.

The NTSB was reportedly not aware of other outages at the Port of Baltimore or ports that had previously experienced outages. dali It was docked.of dali The ship entered Newark, New Jersey, on March 19, Norfolk, Virginia, on March 21, and arrived in Baltimore on March 23, according to the report.

of dali experienced a propulsion-related failure during a port inspection in Chile in June 2023, and crashed at a berth in the Belgian port of Antwerp in July 2016.