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Baltimore bridge crash narrowly avoided bigger disaster as ‘faulty’ ship carried HUNDREDS of tons of explosive cargo

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THE collapse of the Baltimore Bridge could have been even more catastrophic as the ‘faulty’ Dali cargo ship was carrying hundreds of tonnes of explosives.

The MV Dali that desperately sent a mayday call before crashing into Francis Scott Key Bridge, was carrying 56 containers with hazardous material including highly flammable chemicals.

The ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday causing its collapse

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The ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday causing its collapseCredit: AFP
The Dali cargo ship rammed into the bridge after losing power

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The Dali cargo ship rammed into the bridge after losing powerCredit: Getty
Pieces of the Baltimore bridge can be seen sticking out of the water

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Pieces of the Baltimore bridge can be seen sticking out of the waterCredit: Getty

Jennifer Homendy, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that some of the containers had lithium-ion batteries.

She added that some of the containers had been damaged and breached while a sheen had been identified in the water.

Homendy said: “That’s 764 tonnes of hazardous materials, mostly corrosive flammable oils, and some miscellaneous hazardous materials … which would include lithium-ion batteries.”

She added that the investigation into the disaster could take up to two years.

READ MORE ON BALTIMORE BRIDGE

The tragedy struck when the  Singapore-registered ship lost power and crashed into the iconic bridge, in Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday.

Harrowing footage shows the entire bridge collapsing into the icy Patapsco River within seconds.

Thankfully cops managed to close the bridge at the last second and prevented any other cars from driving onto the falling span.

Six construction workers filling potholes on the bridge at the time of the collision are presumed dead – with the bodies of two men being pulled from the river on Wednesday.

US investigators are hoping the Black Box-style data recorder that was recovered from the cargo ship will help them find the answers to how the tragedy happened.

Ford promises a fix after Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse forced auto giant to divert crucial car parts_

While the cause of the crash is yet to be determined, a port worker claimed that the 95,000-tonne container ship had suffered a “severe electrical problem” while docked at the Port of Baltimore, days before the crash.

The ship had only just left Baltimore, setting sail for its 27-day voyage to Sri Lanka.

Julie Mitchell, co-administrator of Container Royalty said the Dali which was anchored at the port for two days before the crash had “serious power outages.”

In the wake of the disaster, she told CNN: “And those two days, they were having serious power outages… they had a severe electrical problem. It was total power failure, loss of engine power, everything.”

She added that refrigerated boxes, were tripping the breakers and mechanics were actually trying to fix it.

Meanwhile, investigators will examine the possibility the power outage on the ship could have been caused by “dirty fuel.”

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, naval architect Fotis Pagoulatos said one of the potential reasons behind the blackout could be contaminated fuel which can affect power generators.

They had a severe electrical problem. It was total power failure, loss of engine power, everything

Julie Mitchell

He said a complete blackout could result in a ship losing propulsion, while smaller generators can kick in but they cannot carry all the functions of the main ones and take time to start.

The contaminated fuel theory was also suggested Henry Lipian, a former Coast Guard lieutenant, who told NBC News: “While in port, did they take on a load of fuel?

“Was it the proper grade of fuel? Was it contaminated?”

Mayor Brandon Scott said a preliminary investigation suggested the collision was an accident.

The FBI has ruled out the incident was linked to a terror attack.

The ship’s management company, Synergy Marine Pte Ltd, said the crew onboard dropped its anchor before impact as part of their emergency efforts to avoid the collision.

The Dalin cargo ship had a blackout moments before it crashed into the bridge

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The Dalin cargo ship had a blackout moments before it crashed into the bridgeCredit: X/YWNReporter
Smoke can be seen billowing from the ship as it's heading towards the bridge

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Smoke can be seen billowing from the ship as it’s heading towards the bridgeCredit: X/YWNReporter
Authorities are examining how the vessel lost power

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Authorities are examining how the vessel lost power

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said: “With the ship barrelling toward the bridge at a very, very rapid speed, authorities had just enough time to stop cars from coming over the bridge.

“These people are heroes. They saved lives last night.”

Dramatic footage shows the devastating aftermath of the bridge collapse – with pieces of the bridge sticking out from the water.

It comes as chilling audio has emerged revealing cops’ rush to stop cars crossing the bridge just moments before it collapsed.

One person says: “I need one of you guys on the south side, one of you guys on the north side, hold all traffic on the Key Bridge.

“There’s a ship approaching that just lost their steering so until we get that under control, we’ve got to stop all traffic.”

A shocked voice can then be heard saying: “The whole bridge just fell down. Start, start whoever … everybody. The whole bridge just collapsed.”

Another person then says: “I can’t get to the other side, sir. The bridge is down!”

Construction worker Miguel Luna is still missing as of Wednesday

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Construction worker Miguel Luna is still missing as of Wednesday
Maynor Suazo, a father of two from Honduras, is also believed to be missing

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Maynor Suazo, a father of two from Honduras, is also believed to be missing

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