All-Indian Crew’s SOS Saved Lives In US Bridge Collapse, Says Governor

All-Indian Crew's SOS Saved Lives In US Bridge Collapse, Says Governor

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The Maryland governor said the Mayday call allowed some road traffic to be stopped.

The container ship that rammed a bridge in US’ Baltimore, causing it to collapse almost entirely and sending cars and people plunging into the river below, was manned entirely by a crew of Indians. This was confirmed by shipping company Maersk, which had chartered the Singapore-flagged container ship, named Dali. 

According to a report by news agency AFP, several vehicles and nearly 20 people are believed to have fallen into the Patapsco River after the 300-metre-long vessel crashed into one of the legs of the bridge. The ship had a crew of 22 members, all of whom were Indian. Quoting the Synergy Marine Group, which manages the Dali, a report said all crew members had been accounted for and none of them were injured. 

Footage showed lights going out on the ship just before it rammed a leg of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a portion of which collapsed on the vessel itself. 

Maryland’s governor said the ship, which was moving at a “rapid” eight knots (nine miles per hour), issued a Mayday call moments before it collided with the pillar of the bridge and this helped saved lives as some road traffic could be stopped.

“These people are heroes. They saved lives last night,” Governor Wes Moore was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. 

The Dali struck a pylon of the bridge at approximately 1:30 am local time (11 am IST) on Tuesday. Vehicles could be seen on the road surface as the bridge warped and crashed in sections, with the third tranche cantilevering upwards before it, too, tumbled into the water.

Rescuers said they were still looking for at least seven people, having pulled two people free.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said maintenance workers were on the bridge at the time of the collision, an incident he described as an “unthinkable tragedy… like something out of an action movie.”

“We have to be thinking about the families and people impacted, folks who we have to try to find,” he said.

In a statement, Maersk said, “We are horrified by what has happened in Baltimore, and our thoughts are with all of those affected… We can confirm that the container vessel ‘DALI’, operated by charter vessel company Synergy Group, is time chartered by Maersk and is carrying Maersk customers’ cargo. No Maersk crew and personnel were onboard the vessel.”

“We are closely following the investigations conducted by authorities and Synergy, and we will do our utmost to keep our customers informed,” it added.

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