Black Box From Baltimore Crash Reveals How Accident Unfolded

The black box retrieved from the wreckage has revealed new information about the last minutes before the Dali cargo ship struck the Baltimore Bridge.

According to the recovered data recorder, the ship’s captain desperately dropped the anchor to avoid the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

When the MV Dali’s electricity went out, the crew transmitted a mayday signal to warn authorities that the ship was approaching the bridge.

Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that only minutes before the accident, one of the pilots on board the Dali had requested assistance from tugboats and reported a power outage.

On Tuesday at 00:39 am, the ship registered in Singapore sailed out from the port of Baltimore on its 27-day journey to Sri Lanka.

At 01:07, it entered the Fort McHenry Channel.

At around 1:25 in the morning, the ship’s alarms went out, indicating that something was wrong, and within minutes, the captain had to give instructions to turn the ship’s steering or rudder.

Sometime between 1:26 and 1:39, a pilot sent a distress signal to all neighboring tug boats.

According to the NTSB, the dispatcher from the pilot association contacted the on-duty officer from the Maryland Transportation Authority on the power outage at around the same time, according to data from the MTA.

The pilot gave further steering instructions and ordered the ship to drop an anchor on the vessel’s left side just after 1:27 am. However, when the Dali approached the bridge without power, the pilot communicated via radio approximately 20 seconds later.

The on-duty state transportation officer instructed two of his units, one at each end of the bridge, to shut it down by radio.

Recordings detected the noises of the ship’s collision with the bridge at 1:29 am as it traveled at an approximate speed of 8mph.

The pilot acknowledged that the bridge had collapsed at 1:29 am and 39 seconds.

According to the US coastguard, the cargo ship had regular engine maintenance at the port before setting sail.