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FBI investigating Baltimore’s Key Bridge crash; boarded Dali on Monday

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation focused on the massive container ship that brought down the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore last month — an investigation that will at least partly examine whether the crew left port knowing the ship had serious systems problems. according to two American officials familiar with the matter.

Authorities are examining the events leading up to when the Dali, a 985-foot Singapore-flagged ship, lost power as it left Baltimore Harbor and struck one of the bridge’s support piers, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

On Monday morning, federal agents appeared aboard the ship to conduct a search. Less than an hour after sunrise at 6:30 a.m., a succession of three boats stopped on the port side of the Dali. Around 6:50 a.m. Monday, people wearing yellow or orange life jackets entered the Dali through a lower door and climbed a ladder to the ship’s bow. About half an hour later, nearly a dozen other people wearing dark clothing pulled up in a smaller boat and boarded.

The FBI confirmed in a statement that its agents were on board the ship.

“The FBI is present aboard the freighter Dali and conducting court-authorized law enforcement activities,” the agency said in a statement Monday morning.

The FBI said it had no additional public information and would not make any further comment.

“My office generally will not confirm or comment on the existence of investigations,” Erek L. Barron, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, said in a statement. “However, the public needs to know that this is gun violence, civil rights violation, financial fraud, or any other threat to public safety or property, we will hold accountable anyone who may be responsible .”

The ship’s owner and operator and the lawyers representing them also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The predawn accident on March 26 destroyed the Key Bridge, where eight people were working to repair concrete and fill potholes. Six members of the repair crew fell into the water and died, authorities said. Two survived.

The criminal investigation is separate from the investigation launched by the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause of the crash and evaluate other safety-related actions.

President Biden and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) have both previously said they intend to hold accountable all parties found potentially responsible for the bridge’s destruction.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

News Source : www.washingtonpost.com
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