The Cargo Ship Dali Previously Smashed Into a Dock at a Port in Belgium

The same cargo ship that slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore overnight was also involved in a major collision while leaving the port of Antwerp, Belgium several years ago.

The search for six individuals who were on the Baltimore bridge when it was struck by the 984-foot cargo ship Dali continued Tuesday afternoon amid diminished expectations that they will be found alive in the frigid waters.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said in a morning press briefing that eight people were on the bridge at the time of the collapse and at least two people have already been rescued.  One person was taken to a hospital and has since been discharged, and the other is reported to be fine.

Governor Wes Moore said during an afternoon press conference that an active search and rescue mission is continuing and responders are still looking for at least six people.

The cargo ship Dali appeared to lose power before drifting into a column on the bridge. Videos of the incident show the ship’s lights  flickering shortly before impact, indicating it lost power before it slammed into the bridge, sending people and vehicles tumbling into the water.

“Never would you think that you would see, physically see, the Key Bridge tumble down like that. It looked like something out of an action movie,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, calling it “an unthinkable tragedy.”

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency confirmed in an unclassified memo that the ship “lost propulsion as it was leaving Baltimore Harbour.”

Officials said crew on board of the ship were able to alert the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of the vessel, prompting local authorities  to close the bridge to traffic just before it was struck.

Despite there being no train tracks on the bridge, Biden said during a press briefing Tuesday that he remembers all the times he commuted on the bridge by train or by car.

“At about 1:30, container ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which I’ve been over many, many times, commuting from the state of Delaware either on a train or by car,” he said.

Ship traffic has been suspended at the Port of Baltimore, the busiest U.S. port for car shipments, until further notice. The Port of Baltimore reportedly handled more than 750,000 vehicles in 2022.

Authorities are still investigating what caused the ship to lose propulsion.

Several years ago, the Dali was involved in a collision while leaving the port of Antwerp, Belgium, Reuters reported. The container ship hit a quay on July 11, 2016, as it tried to exit the North Sea container terminal.

A 2016 inspection of the vessel conducted in Antwerp found it had a structural issue, which was stated as “hull damage impairing its seaworthiness,” according to data published on Equasis, a public database for the shipping industry.

The port authorities said the ship had remained at the dock for repairs for some time after the incident.

“As a general rule, these accidents are investigated and ships are only allowed to leave after experts have determined it is safe for them to do so,” a spokesperson for Antwerp port told Reuters.

The weather was fine at the time, and the incident was reportedly blamed on the ship’s master and pilot on board, the Guardian reported at the time.

A preliminary investigation reportedly shows that the collision was not intentional.

Independent journalist Lara Logan reported on X Tuesday, however, that multiple intelligence sources have told her that “the Baltimore bridge collapse was an ‘absolutely brilliant strategic attack’ on US critical infrastructure—most likely cyber.”

“All truck traffic across the Francis Scott Key bridge – over 11 million vehicles a year (mostly semi trucks) – now have to go through the tunnel. In and out,” Logan wrote.

No shipping can go into Baltimore – the bridge and the port are down. That also means the shipping containers now have to go north to NY or south to North Carolina. This cyber attack just forced everything to flow through the Baltimore tunnel which will inevitably be overloaded. Not all semis are permitted to move through the tunnel because of the nature of the load. The enormity of this is just setting in for US intelligence & those in power are already covering it up.

“Make no mistake: this was an extraordinary attack in terms of planning, timing & execution,” Logan said.

The FBI meanwhile said it has no evidence linking the catastrophic bridge collapse to terrorism.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - MARCH 26: In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rescuers are searching for at least seven people, authorities say, while two others have been pulled from the Patapsco River. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)