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Updated March 28th, 2024 at 18:44 IST

Ship that Took Down Baltimore Bridge as Long as Eiffel Tower

Standing at a staggering 984 feet tall, the Dali is a true titan of the seas, capable of carrying nearly 10,000 standard-sized shipping containers.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Baltimore Key Bridge
The ship is named after one of history’s most celebrated artists, Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. | Image:AP
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On Tuesday, in a catastrophic turn of events, the towering cargo vessel Dali collided with Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in its collapse and the tragic loss of life of six bridge construction workers. The incident has shed light on the immense scale of these oceanic behemoths, with the Dali's dimensions rivaling iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower.

Image: AP

Standing at a staggering 984 feet tall, the Dali is a true titan of the seas, capable of carrying nearly 10,000 standard-sized shipping containers. However, despite its impressive capacity, the ship is dwarfed by even larger container vessels, which can accommodate over 24,000 containers. The sheer size and weight of these maritime giants pose significant challenges in maneuvering and stopping, especially in the event of emergencies.

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Here is what you need to know

The mayday call from the crew of the Dali alerted authorities to the impending disaster, giving them precious moments to halt bridge traffic and prevent further casualties. Tragically, the swift collapse of the bridge caught construction workers off guard, resulting in the loss of lives. While divers have recovered the bodies of two workers, the search for the remaining missing individuals continues.

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Ship was constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries 

Constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk, the Dali had embarked on a journey from Baltimore to Sri Lanka. However, shortly after departure, the vessel encountered a catastrophic loss of power and steering control, leading to the devastating collision with the bridge. Despite passing inspections in Chile and the United States, including routine maintenance before departure, the cause of the accident remains under investigation by multiple authorities.

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As investigations proceed, efforts are underway to clear the channel floor of debris and assess the damage to the Dali. Concerns regarding fuel leakage and salvage operations loom large as officials work to mitigate environmental risks and restore maritime operations in the area. However, the timeline for reopening the Port of Baltimore and rebuilding the collapsed bridge remains uncertain, with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasizing the complexity and time-intensive nature of such endeavors.

Amidst the wreckage and devastation, the collision serves as a stark reminder of the immense power and potential consequences of maritime mishaps involving colossal cargo vessels like the Dali. As authorities work to uncover the truth behind the tragedy, the focus remains on honoring the lives lost and preventing future maritime disasters.

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Published March 28th, 2024 at 18:44 IST

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