April 22, 2024

Hazardous chemicals are LEAKING into Baltimore harbor from stricken vessel as NTSB confirms containers ‘were breached’ in the bridge disaster

Hazardous chemicals LEAKING into Baltimore harbor after bridge crash

Hazardous material is leaking into Baltimore harbor after some of the containers on the ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key bridge were ‘breached.’

Hazardous material is leaking into Baltimore harbor following the tragic cargo ship crash that led to the immediate collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge earlier this week.

On Wednesday, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said her team had identified 56 containers of hazardous material aboard the Singaporean container ship.

A senior hazmat investigator with the agency determined that ‘764 tons of hazardous materials’, which includes corrosives, lithium ion batteries and flammables, now threatens the water surrounding the downed bridge. 

Some of the containers ‘were breached,’ said Homendy, noting that a sheen of hazardous material could be seen on the waterway.

The exact number of breached containers should be available in a preliminary report, which will be ready in two-to-four weeks. 

‘Our entire focus on scene is to collect the perishable evidence – that’s documenting the scene, it’s taking photographs, it’s taking any sort of electronics or components, whatever goes away once the scene is cleaned up,’ she added, noting that the agency would not be presenting any conclusions or analysis while specialists are still collecting material. 

During Wednesday evening’s press briefing, Homendy described the scene where the bridge once stood as ‘pretty devastating.’

‘Seeing not just what’s going on with the cargo containers, but just looking at what was a bridge span – three bridge spans that is pretty much gone. It’s just utter devastation,’ she said. 

The NTSB has already interviewed the ship’s captain, his mate, the chief engineer, and one other engineer. Tomorrow, the two pilots aboard the ship will be interviewed.

The boat had been piloted by specialized local pilots trained to avoid obstacles at ports. 

These specialist pilots depart the ships as soon as they are in open water. It is thought the vessel lost power after it left port, causing it to veer off course and crash into a column supporting the bridge.

Earlier reporting by DailyMail.com suggests that the full crew of the ship could be stuck aboard the vessel as authorities, including the NTSB scramble to collect perishable evidence and samples.

It is thought the ship, a DALI boat operated by Singaporean company Synergy Group, was being crewed by 22 Indian nationals, none of whom are thought to have been seriously hurt in the incident. 

Part of the bridge collapsed onto the back of the vessel, and the crew will likely not be able to leave the ship until the debris had been cleared.

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