NTSB Reveals Cause of Deadly Bridge Collapse: Crew Error Led to Power Outage

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NTSB Reveals Cause of Deadly Bridge Collapse: Crew Error Led to Power Outage

I want to put up this tweet here. Remember, yesterday we brought you those incredible scenes of that controlled demolition of a very large part of the Key Bridge that had been hanging on the MV Dolly’s bow since it collapsed there.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Well, the NTSB today released their preliminary report on the March 26th contact of the containership Dolly with the Francis Scott Bridge and the subsequent bridge collapse there in Baltimore. So, I’ll be reading from the Associated Press’s readout of the report as well here.

Let’s just show you some of this video. This was from the scene yesterday after the controlled demolition. We spoke to our Fox 5 DC folks.

So, this is what we know according to the preliminary report released by the NTSB just in the last hour. Apparently, the power outage on the MV Dolly was caused by a crew member mistakenly closing an exhaust damper causing the ship’s engine to stall.

Crew Error Caused Power Outage Leading to Deadly Bridge Collapse

The ship lost power again and crashed into one of the bridge’s supporting columns shortly after leaving the port. This, remember, happened in the middle of the night on March 26th.

The collapse, in the report, says that the cargo ship experienced an electrical blackout about 10 hours before leaving the Port of Baltimore while undergoing maintenance.

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So, remember we had reported at the time that the cause of the collision and the subsequent collapse was due to a power outage on board the ship.

Now, we’re learning more details according to this preliminary report that the Dolly, that’s the ship, experienced an electrical blackout about 10 hours before even leaving the Port of Baltimore while undergoing maintenance as well here.

The NTSB though did caution and warrant that a full investigation could take a year or more. Now, the board launched its investigation almost immediately after the collapse.

There investigators, you’ll remember, they boarded the ship to document the scene and collect evidence including the vessel’s data recorder and information from its engine room. Investigators also interviewed the captain and crew members as well.

So, according to the preliminary report, at 1:25 in the morning when the Dolly was a little over half a mile away from the bridge, a primary electrical breaker that fed most of the ship’s equipment and lighting unexpectedly tripped, causing the ship to lose electrical power and experience a blackout. Now, the main propulsion diesel engine shut down after the pumps lost electrical power.

The ship’s crew was able to restore power then called for an assist from tugboats and the senior pilot ordered that the ship’s anchor be dropped. Then a second blackout occurred and a marine radio call was made to warn any traffic there in the water. The ship then struck that main support pier on the bridge causing it to collapse.

Now, the ship, remember, was headed from Baltimore to Sri Lanka. It issued a Mayday alert with just enough time for police to stop traffic on the bridge, but as you know, six construction crew workers on the bridge at the time filling potholes fell to their deaths below in the Patapsco River.

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Search for Missing Worker Ends After Bridge Collapse Investigation

The last body, the remaining sixth individual who had been unaccounted for since the collapse, their body was found just last week. So, wanted to make sure we got this news in there.

Now, remember this is just preliminary. A full investigation according to the NTSB is not expected for well over a year. There, so I wanted to make sure we got that in.

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