[Baltimore Sun] FBI agents board cargo ship that caused Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

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FBI agents boarded the Dali, the container ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge nearly three weeks ago, on Monday, the agency confirmed.

An FBI Baltimore spokesperson said that federal agents were present “conducting court authorized law enforcement activity” on the massive cargo ship that rammed into a bridge support column early on March 26, causing a 1.6-mile span to collapse into the Patapsco River. Six construction workers who were on the bridge died.

The FBI declined to comment further. A spokesperson for the Maryland’s U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t comment further on the matter but forwarded a statement from Maryland U.S. Attorney Erek Barron.

“My office generally will not confirm the existence of or otherwise comment about investigations,” Barron said in the statement. “However, the public should know, whether it’s gun violence, civil rights abuse, financial fraud, or any other threat to public safety or property, we will seek accountability for anyone who may be responsible.”

FBI personnel were present at the scene in the days that followed the collapse, though the National Transportation Safety Board is leading an independent investigation of the crash. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office both stated soon after the collapse that they had found no evidence the crash was tied to terrorism.

The NTSB’s probe is expected to cover all circumstances leading up to the collapse, which happened after the Dali appeared to lose power as it was approaching the bridge early that morning. That agency’s investigators have been homing in on the electronics system of the 984-foot ship, getting assistance from Hyundai to assist authorities with the ship’s engine, which the South Korean firm manufactured.

The NTSB’s preliminary report, which will be limited to factual findings surrounding the crash and ensuing collapse, is expected in the first week of May, and its final report could take up to two years.

 

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