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Baltimore bridge collapse: Indian crew members remain trapped

Baltimore key bridge

Baltimore: Despite efforts for rescue and assistance, twenty Indian crew members find themselves stranded aboard a container vessel, a week after a catastrophic collision with a key bridge in Baltimore.

The incident occurred in the early hours of March 26 when the 984-foot cargo ship, Dali, bound for Sri Lanka, collided with the 2.6km-long, four-lane bridge over the Patapsco River.

The Reverend Joshua Messick, Executive Director of the Baltimore International Seafarers' Centre, provided updates regarding the crew's condition, stating, "All I know right now is that they are healthy and we are doing the best we can to support their needs emotionally and otherwise." Despite being in touch with the crew through WhatsApp, Messick noted their responses as "succinct," possibly indicating caution in communication.

Efforts to provide aid continue, with Messick reaching out to the crew to assess their requirements.

The Baltimore International Seafarers' Centre, a non-profit organization, aims to facilitate the well-being of seafarers calling at the Port of Baltimore from around the world.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi confirmed the presence of twenty Indians among the crew aboard Dali. MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal assured that all crew members are in good health, with one individual receiving minor injuries requiring stitches, and added that the Indian Embassy in Washington remains in close contact with both the crew and local authorities.

As investigations unfold, US authorities, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), have begun interviews with crew members of Dali. Shipping company Synergy Group, responsible for managing the vessel, stated cooperation with investigators throughout the process.

While efforts focus on the crew's well-being and the investigation, the aftermath of the incident continues to impact the region. Governor Wes Moore of Maryland highlighted the national economic repercussions, emphasizing the significance of the port to various sectors across the country.

The removal of wreckage from the bridge and the cargo ship is deemed a complex and time-consuming task.

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