All-Indian Crew On Ship That Crashed Into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge

Chris Menahan
Mar. 26, 2024

The high cost of cheap labor.

From The Hindustan Times, "All-Indian crew on container ship that collided with Baltimore bridge":
The entire 22-member crew of the cargo ship that collided with a major bridge in Baltimore early Tuesday, causing it to snap and plunge into the river below, are Indians, the company said.

"All crew members, including the two pilots, have been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries. There has also been no pollution," ship management company Synergy Marine Group said in a statement.

[...] A construction crew working on the bridge sustained casualties, with eight individuals falling into the river's icy waters, where temperatures measured a chilling 8C. Of the eight, two were rescued, one unhurt, and another critically injured, leaving six individuals still unaccounted for.

[...] Maryland state senator Johnny Ray Salling, who was from the area, said the bridge plays a vital role in not only transportation, but also commerce.

"Losing this bridge will devastate the entire area, as well as the entire East Coast," said Salling, a Republican.
We don't know all the specifics of this case yet but I'm reminded of a story from 2017 about how India's first ballistic missile submarine was taken out of commission because someone forgot to properly close a hatch.

If the ship in Baltimore lost power due to poor maintenance that's a crucial issue to find out.

From The Washington Post:
A deficiency in the Dali's systems was discovered when the ship was inspected in June, records show. Inspectors at the port of San Antonio, Chile, discovered a problem categorized as relating to "propulsion and auxiliary machinery," according to the Tokyo MOU, an intergovernmental shipping regulator in the Asia-Pacific region. The issue was classified in the subcategory of "Gauges, thermometers, etc," but no additional details of the deficiency were provided. The problem was not serious enough to warrant detaining the ship, according to the records.
"According to a statement from Dali's owners and managers, all of the ship's 22 Indian crew members and two pilots who were on board have 'been accounted for and there are no reports of any injuries,'" the Baltimore Sun reported.

"Baltimore harbor pilots were directing the ship at the time of the crash, as is customary when vessels enter ports or canals, according to a joint statement from the ship's owner and manager," the NY Times reported. "Shortly after the crash, radio traffic from emergency workers suggested that the crew was also struggling to steer the ship, according to audio published by Broadcastify."

Hopefully, we will find out the real story soon but something tells me that if this was a ship full of Sully Sullenbergers this would not have happened.

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