FBI Opens Criminal Probe Into Francis Scott Key Bridge Accident

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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WASHINGTON –– The Washington Post reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun a criminal probe into the Francis Scott Key Bridge strike by a container ship.

The Washington Post says that two U.S. officials reported that there is some suspicion over whether the container ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge had problems the crew was aware of at the beginning of the sailing. The ship was departing the Port of Baltimore when it crashed into the bridge.

The Post says that roughly between 6:30 and 7:30 Monday morning, April 15, four boats carrying federal agents arrived at the container ship, the Dali, (which flies a Singapore flag), and began to board. The report distinguishes between an initial group of individuals wearing orange or yellow life jackets and another group entering a few minutes later that wore dark clothing.

The newspaper quoted the FBI as saying Monday morning “The FBI is present aboard the cargo ship Dali conducting court authorized law enforcement activity.”

The report also said that the FBI investigation is separate from the NTSB investigation into the cause of the accident. The Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation is conducting a separate investigation concurrent with the NTSB’s investigation. However collection of evidence by the NTSB and the Coast Guard will be suspended while the criminal investigation is underway. Nevertheless, the NTSB and the Coast Guard may continue to evaluate any evidence already collected to support safety-related recommendations. According to the Post, this information was provided anonymously by a Coast Guard official because of the current investigations.

RT&S will update this story as new developments occur.

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