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The owner of the ship that is responsible for the Key Bridge collapse has filed a petition to seek a cap on damages at 43 million dollars.  The complaint asks the court to consolidate all claims and limit or deny liability under the limitation of liability act of 1851. Plaintiffs with a claim against the ship or responsible party will try to break the limit on liability.  According to the petition filed in court on Monday, the value of the Dali was 90 million when it left the Port of Baltimore. repair of the ship is expected to cost at least 28 million.  Salvage of the ship is likely going to cost at least 19.5 million.  It is unclear if the estimates of value will be accepted or disputed by the interested parties.  There is still a search for additional bodies that are missing.

We should all be able appreciate the sheer physics of riding on a nearly one thousand foot long cargo container ship.  This ship is roughly the size of the Empire State Building.  Trying to navigate the waters and bridges with this type of vessel is no easy task no matter the skill of the operator.

Much continues develop every day with the surviving structures of the bridge, the port of the vessel, and the hazmat containers.  There are reports of several containers that have either entered the water or have been breached.  The hazards in the area including the cold temperatures, debris, potential hazardous materials in the water all make navigating the waters challenging.  There is also a reported sheen on the water at the scene.  Containers have shifted and could be in danger falling.  State and Federal agencies have been and are still on the scene with divers and drones.  We are finding now that the minutes leading up the collision, alarms were sounded as the ship was out of control.  Power was out and the major systems of the vessel were out of order.

According to the Baltimore City Fire Department, salvage continues to occur as waste is removed.   The vessel data recorder is the recording device on the marine vessel that measures activity.  These devices are not as good as black boxes but do provide data.  Evidence from the engine room data would certainly help to diagnose the issues leading to any crash.  Currently, the technology does not exist to show immediately if the failure was mechanical or electrical.

Traffic will be seriously impacted after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024, along Interstate 695 in Baltimore, Maryland. Following the early morning accident which was caused by a vessel that crashed into the bridge, drivers were immediately directed to take alternate routes through the city. The Maryland Transportation Authority said all lanes were closed on I-695. Most drivers can take Interstate 95, the Fort McHenry Tunnel, or Interstate 895, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, as alternate routes of travel. However, the Maryland Transportation Authority reminds drivers that vehicles carrying hazardous materials, including more than 10 pounds of propane, are not allowed in the tunnels. Additionally, vehicles more than 13-feet and 6-inches high or 8-feet wide may not use the 1-895 Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Vehicles more than 14-feet and 6-inches high or 11-feet wide may not use the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel. Those vehicles should use the western portion of I-695 instead. An estimated 35,000 people used the bridge on a daily basis.

All vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore is suspended until further notice. The Port of Baltimore handled more than $80 billion in imports and exports in 2023, according to census data.

Bridge collapse accidents are rare. A search of the internet will reveal many ship collisions causing major injuries and damages.

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