News Brief

Eight Indian Crew Members Of Ship That Hit Baltimore Bridge In US Leave For Home After Nearly Three Months

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 22, 2024, 10:06 AM | Updated 10:06 AM IST

The tragic incident claimed the lives of six workers  (Getty Images)
The tragic incident claimed the lives of six workers (Getty Images)

Eight Indian crew members of the cargo ship 'Dali', which crashed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge in March, departed for India on Friday (21 June) after nearly three months aboard the vessel.

According to the Baltimore Maritime Exchange, four of the 21 crew members remain on the 984-foot cargo ship MV Dali, which was scheduled to leave for Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday evening.

The remaining crew members have been relocated to a service apartment in Baltimore and will stay there pending an investigation.

Notably, 20 of the crew members were Indian nationals.

They were on board the MV Dali Cargo when it struck the bridge's pillars, causing its collapse and resulting in the deaths of six construction workers.

The MV Dali is set to undergo repairs in Norfolk.

The departure of the eight Indian crew members, including a cook, a fitter, and seamen, follows a deal approved by a judge.

These crew members are not officers. The other 13 crew members will remain in the US due to the ongoing investigations.

"They're anxious, under considerable stress considering they don't know the future. They don't know when they'll see their family again or how they'll be treated here," said Joshua Messick, director of the Baltimore International Seafarers' Center and chaplain for the Port of Baltimore, in an interview with CNN.

None of the crew members have been charged in connection with the disaster. Investigations by the FBI and other federal agencies are ongoing.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, a 2.6 km-long, four-lane structure over the Patapsco River in Baltimore, collapsed on 26 March after the Dali collided with it.

The vessel, with a deadweight of 116,851 DWT and owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd, was outbound from Baltimore to Colombo. It has a capacity of 10,000 TEU, with onboard units totaling 4,679 TEU.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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