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Baltimore crash

Sri Lankan seafarer listed as POI in probe

by damith
May 19, 2024 1:14 am 0 comment 2K views

By Leon Berenger

A Sri Lankan seafarer along with 20 Indian sailors is listed as a Person of Interest (POI) in the ongoing probe of the Dali crash on the Baltimore Bridge in the USA on March 26.

Electrical Technical Officer Chaminda Athapaththu is currently on the ill-fated vessel along with 20 other Indian mates as the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) in the USA carries out their investigations, International Workers’ Transport Federation (ITF) Colombo representative Ranjan Perera said.

“The (NTSB) has forwarded the preliminary report of their findings and are set to probe further to ascertain if there was any criminal negligence involved that led to the crash.

Until then, certain crew members including the Captain will continue to be held on the vessel for an indefinite period of time. It could take a month or even more depending on the nature of the probe”, Perera said.

President of the National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSSL) Boa Athukorale said it has been closely monitoring the welfare of the Sri Lankan seafarer and was in constant touch with the relevant stakeholders that includes the ITF.

According to the NTSB report Dali, the 947-foot-long Singapore-based cargo vessel that was due to begin its journey to Colombo, lost electrical power hours before leaving the Port of Baltimore and crashing into the iconic Francis Scott Key Bridge.

In less than 12 hours, the ship experienced four blackouts before colliding with the central truss spans of the key bridge.

The report comes seven weeks since the disaster killed six construction workers, crippled the Port of Baltimore and cut access to the Beltway.

The preliminary report provided a synopsis of factual information collected during the on-scene phase of the investigation. A final report, which will include conclusions and safety recommendations, should come in one or two years.

The NTSB report also stated that the entire crew on the vessel had tested negative for alcohol and drugs following the incident.

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