New Casualty – DALI (Singapore) – Allision with bridge

New Casualty - DALI (Singapore) - Allision with bridge

Incident Date:   26th March 2024

Vessel:                DALI

IMO No.             9697428

Type:                  Fully Cellular Containership

Incident:            Allision with bridge

We have learned of an incident involving the vessel DALI, a Singapore flag, 2015 built, 95,128 gt, fully cellular containership, which struck Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, USA, in the early hours of 26th March 2024. The Key Bridge, as it is known, is the world’s third-longest continuous truss bridge.

DALI had departed Baltimore at 0100 hrs and was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka, when she appeared to lose power while under control of two pilots and allided with one of the Key Bridge pillars, causing part of the bridge to collapse and a number of vehicles and people to fall into the water. The Director of Communications for the Baltimore Fire Department said that there were “some cargo or retainers hanging from the bridge” creating unsafe and unstable conditions and complicating the rescue operation, declaring it “a dire emergency,” stating that it was too early to know how many people might be affected and that it is a “developing mass casualty event”. Investigations are underway to determine the exact cause of the incident. Meanwhile, it has been noted that DALI had previously been involved in a 2016 allision with a quay at Antwerp as she tried to leave port.

The vessel,  owned by Grace Ocean Pte Ltd of Singapore and entered with Britannia P&I, was confirmed as being on time charter to MAERSK and operated by Synergy Marine Group on the TP12 2M (MAERSK) and (MSC) Empire service between Asia and the East Coast USA; ZIM also has slots on the vessel, as part of its ZBA operation.

Synergy said that ‘whilst the exact cause of the incident is yet to be determined, DALI has now mobilized its Qualified Individual Incident response service’.

DALI appeared to have suffered a loss of power about three minutes before the incident. The Maryland Governor confirmed that a mayday signal was received as the ship was approaching the bridge, which led to immediate action to avert traffic entering the bridge. However, although this would certainly have saved many lives, there was not time to get six road construction crew off the bridge. US Coast Guard regretted that the remaining missing personnel must be presumed dead, considering the length of time they had been under and temperature of the water.

An unverified report claimed that power went off for 45 seconds and it would have required another couple of minutes to bring the propulsion plant into operation under emergency conditions. However, before this could happen, there was another blackout within a minute of the restoration of power supply, according to the unconfirmed report.

Synergy advised that all 22 crew members from India, plus the two pilots who were aboard to navigate the vessel out into open water, were accounted for, with no reports of any injuries.

Following the collapse of the Key Bridge, vessels have been unable to enter or exit the Port of Baltimore, which could remain the case for some time, impacting both maritime and land transportation. Other vessels already known to be affected include MSC ALINA (IMO 9695016), MSC KUMSAL (IMO 9305506), MAERSK GIRONDE (IMO 9235555) and TRITON (IMO 9728916), DUBAI EXPRESS (IMO 9440825) and CCNI ANDES (IMO 9718935).

It is suggested that USA Atlantic ports, including New York, New Jersey and Virginia are prepared to handle additional ships if the Key Bridge collapse continues to make Baltimore terminals inaccessible, although there are warnings that the accident could hamper global trade flows already under strain from the drought in Panama and restrictions on marine traffic through the Suez Canal.

If you are aware of any involvement in this casualty and W E COX CLAIMS GROUP may be of assistance in any way, including provision of securities, arranging surveys, adjusting any potential losses &/or undertaking recovery action, please do not hesitate to contact us.


As appropriate, please contact:

United Kingdom – Paul Friett

France – Marie-Laure Mirrione

Europe – John Jackson

Hong Kong – Twinnie Lai

Singapore – Paul Sansom

USA – Joshua Gayer

Australia – Niall Orr

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