NTSB says police had 90 seconds to stop traffic, get people off Key Bridge before it collapsed

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NTSB: DALI had 764 tons of hazardous material before Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse NTSB: DALI had 764 tons of hazardous material before Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse 04:28
BALTIMORE – The National Transportation Safety Board provided a broader look Wednesday night into its investigation of the cargo ship hitting Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing its collapse.
Officials said police had just 90 seconds early Tuesday from when they received distress calls to cut the bridge off to traffic and to try to get people off.
A police officer who was already in the area patrolling because of the work on the bridge tried to get construction workers off before it was too late, according to officials.
Twenty-one members and two pilots were onboard DALI, a 948-foot vessel managed by Synergy Marine Group, a Singapore-based company with over 660 ships under management around the world, according to its website.
The vessel had 56 containers — 764 tons – of corrosive, flammable material and batteries, according to NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy, adding that some of the containers were breached. One of the hazardous materials was sheen, which is used in paint, that has leaked into the Patapsco River.
NTSB officials are updating media on the investigation. They say 21 crew members plus 2 pilots on board. 56 containers on board with hazardous materials, some of those containers were breached. @wjz pic.twitter.com/oUevpuMlsj — Kelsey Kushner (@KelseyKushnerTV) March 28, 2024
“That’s 764 tons of hazardous materials, mostly corrosive, flammables, Class 8 hazardous materials, which includes lithium-ion batteries,” Homendy said. “Some of those containers were breached.”
NTSB says DALI left the terminal at the Port of Baltimore around 12:39 a.m. and by 1:24 a.m., alarms started going off that something was wrong.
At 1:27 a.m., the pilot ordered crews to drop the anchor and called for tugs, telling officials the boat lost power and was headed toward the bridge.
And just two minutes later, the massive cargo ship crashed into the bridge at 8 mph, sending eight construction workers who were filling potholes plunging into the cold water along with Baltimore’s iconic bridge. Officials said they were from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Two people were rescued soon after the collapse — one was uninjured and other was hospitalized and later released.
Divers recovered two bodies from a pickup truck Wednesday morning.
Officials said the search for the remaining four has moved from a recovery mission to a salvage effort because they believe vehicles are encased in the bridge debris and divers can’t operate around the debris.
The bridge itself “is fractural critical,” Homendy said. “What that means is if a member fails that would likely cause a portion of or the entire bridge to collapse; there’s no redundancy.”
The collapse has halted the flow of ships in and out of Baltimore’s port and cut off nearly every dock in Baltimore from the global shipping industry.
“The national economy and the global economy depends on the Port of Baltimore,” Gov. Wes Moore said at a news conference early Wednesday evening.
Moore said the state has submitted a request asking for federal funds to assist in rebuilding the bridge, but the cost and timeline is still unknown.
“The task in front of us, it will be real, it will be daunting, but our resolve is unshaken,” Moore said.

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