Ship that caused Baltimore Key bridge collapse suffered two electrical blackouts: NTSB

The ship that caused the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore experienced two blackouts before it hit the bridge, according to a new preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The report, released Tuesday, found that the container ship Dali that crashed into the bridge was 0.6 miles away from it when “when electrical breakers… that fed most of the vessel’s equipment and lighting unexpectedly opened.” 

“This caused the first blackout (loss of electrical power) to all shipboard lighting and most equipment, including the main engine cooling water pumps (which controlled engine cooling water pressure) and steering gear pumps,” the report said. 

The ship’s crew was later able to restore “electrical power to the vessel,” but when the ship was 0.2 miles from the Key Bridge, it suffered another blackout. From there, the crew was able to get back power on the ship, but did not have propulsion. The ship’s “starboard bow struck pier no. 17 of the Key Bridge at 6.5 knots” soon after.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is set to hold a hearing on the federal response to the collapse of the Key Bridge Wednesday, the committee said in a press release last week. 

“Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure [Chair Sam Graves (R-Mo.)] announced that the full Committee will hold a hearing with federal agency witnesses to discuss the ongoing investigation into the allision of the Motor Vessel DALI with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland and the federal response to the incident,” the press release reads.

The hearing will occur next Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT and will feature witnesses including National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Shailen Bhatt, according to the release. 

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