Turns Out This Was Not The First Time The Baltimore Bridge Had Been Struck By A Ship

A section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed as a result of an extraordinary collision between the cargo ship DALI and the bridge in the early hours of Tuesday in Baltimore Harbor. The safety of sea transportation and the robustness of bridge infrastructure have come under scrutiny in light of this tragedy.

Shortly after leaving the harbor, the DALI, a ship flying the Singaporean flag and destined for Sri Lanka, had a total power outage. Even though the ship was not using its full tonnage capacity and had dropped anchor to help, it nonetheless struck one of the support columns of the bridge, causing it to collapse. It’s interesting to note that a ship had impacted the Francis Scott Key Bridge before; forty years ago, there was an identical occurrence that didn’t result in any structural damage.

The aftermath of this catastrophe has led to an examination of the DALI’s maintenance and repair records as well as the global problem of bridge safety. Following comparable occurrences in China and Argentina, the fall of the Baltimore Bridge represents the third incident in 2024 involving a ship impacting a bridge.

According to experts, the bridge collapse was caused by a number of causes, including tainted fuel that caused an engine to fail. The event emphasizes the necessity of better safety precautions, like installing fenders and dolphins, to shield bridges against collisions of this kind.

The event emphasizes the significance of funding infrastructure improvements, even though the National Transportation Safety Board is still conducting investigations. More substantial investments are required to guarantee the safety and resilience of bridges and other vital infrastructure in the face of rising marine traffic and vessel sizes, even in spite of recent US allocations for infrastructure improvements.

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