Just hours prior to its departure from port, the colossal container vessel responsible for the fatal collapse of a bridge in Baltimore encountered evident electrical issues, as disclosed by an individual familiar with the matter on Monday. This revelation coincided with FBI agents boarding the ship on the very same day as part of a criminal inquiry into the events preceding the disaster.

On the early morning of March 26, the Dali set sail from Baltimore's port, carrying a load bound for Sri Lanka. However, it experienced a loss of power before reaching the open sea. Consequently, it collided with one of the supports of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, leading to the collapse of a section of the bridge into the Patapsco River. This tragic incident resulted in the deaths of six members of a road repair crew, with two individuals still missing and unaccounted for.

Officials announced Monday evening the retrieval of a fourth body from a construction vehicle within the submerged wreckage. The identity of the individual was withheld at the request of their family, according to officials.

The FBI has shifted its focus in the investigation of the Baltimore bridge collapse, launching a criminal probe into the container ship involved. Sources acquainted with the investigation have verified that the FBI is closely scrutinizing the circumstances leading up to the ship's departure, with a specific emphasis on determining whether the crew had prior knowledge of any mechanical issues that could have jeopardized the vessel's safety.

Federal agents boarded the ship, named Dali, on April 15th armed with search warrants. Their focus was on collecting physical evidence and crucial data pertaining to the moments before, during, and after the catastrophic collision. The FBI issued a statement confirming their presence aboard the Dali, emphasizing that their activities were court-authorized.

This criminal investigation comes on the heels of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) initiating its own probe. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy announced on March 27th that investigators had boarded the ship and begun interviewing crew members. The scene Homendy described was one of utter devastation, with the ship itself bearing the scars of the mangled bridge.

The NTSB investigation was bolstered by the recovery of the ship's voyage data recorder, a critical piece of evidence that will provide a detailed record of the events leading up to the crash. Alarms blared on board the Dali around 1:24 AM, followed by a frantic call for assistance from nearby tugboats just two minutes later. A subsequent radio transmission one minute after that confirmed the ship's complete loss of power, a state that tragically persisted until the moment of impact with the bridge.

In the wake of the Baltimore bridge tragedy, Maryland Governor Wes Moore vowed to stand by the families of the six construction workers who perished in the disaster. Governor Moore met with the families on March 27th, expressing his unwavering commitment to supporting them through this unimaginable ordeal.

"Initially, all available resources were directed towards a search and rescue operation," Governor Moore stated. "However, as we transition to a recovery phase, my focus remains unwavering – to ensure these families receive the support they need to find closure."

Governor Moore acknowledged the heroic efforts of first responders who acted swiftly upon receiving warnings of the approaching container ship, the "Dali." These quick-thinking individuals were able to alert the construction crew on the bridge and initiate a bridge closure, potentially preventing further casualties. "The actions of these first responders exemplified the true meaning of Maryland grit and Baltimore strength," Governor Moore remarked. "Their swift response in alerting those on the bridge and stopping traffic undoubtedly saved countless lives."

Officials confirmed that a distress call, or "mayday," was issued before the container ship collided with the bridge's support pillar. Governor Moore credited this call with saving lives, as it alerted authorities who were then able to halt some vehicles from crossing the bridge before the impact. "The mayday call, along with the immediate response to stop traffic, undeniably played a heroic role," Governor Moore emphasized during a press conference.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the power outage that crippled the container ship and the sequence of events following the collision. The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators are exploring various possibilities, including contaminated fuel, as a potential factor in the ship's loss of control.

Governor Moore stressed that the economic repercussions of the Baltimore bridge collapse reach far beyond state borders. "The impacts are too significant to underestimate," he emphasized. he emphasized. "This isn't just a Maryland issue; it's a national one."

"It's the leading port for vehicle imports, not to mention trucks and agricultural equipment," Governor Moore stated. "With over 51 million tons of foreign cargo passing through annually, the closure will have a ripple effect across the entire country."

Governor Moore stressed the urgency of rebuilding the bridge. "The economic impact is undeniable, which is why we're laser-focused on getting this done right, and getting it done fast," he declared. While acknowledging the complexity of the project due to the submerged wreckage, he remained resolute. "This will undoubtedly be a long and challenging endeavor," Governor Moore admitted, "but with everyone's cooperation, we will rebuild."

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore sent shockwaves throughout the city and beyond.The Port of Baltimore, a critical shipping hub for the entire country, was forced to shut down indefinitely.

Hope Dwindles as Search Becomes Recovery

A glimmer of hope for survivors faded as the initial rescue operation at the Baltimore bridge collapse transitioned into a grim recovery mission.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace confirmed at a press conference that emergency personnel had successfully rescued two individuals on March 26th. One person walked away unharmed, while the other sustained serious injuries and received treatment at a local trauma center.

Tragically, the fate of six construction workers employed by Brawner Builders became tragically clear. Company executive Jeffrey Pritzker confirmed in a phone interview on March 26th that these workers were presumed dead. Officials soon after confirmed the shift in focus from a search and rescue operation to a recovery mission.

The harsh reality unfolded as divers searched the murky depths beneath the collapsed bridge. Four bodies were recovered from the water, with the most recent discovery occurring on April 15th. This individual, found trapped inside a construction vehicle, remained unidentified out of respect for the family's wishes.

News of another recovered body emerged on April 5th, with officials identifying the victim as 38-year-old Maynor Yasir Suazo-Sandoval, a construction worker located at the collapse site. Two additional bodies were pulled from the water on March 27th - Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, a 35-year-old Baltimore resident originally from Mexico, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, a 26-year-old resident of Dundalk, Maryland, found together inside a submerged red pickup truck.

Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul Wiedefeld confirmed that the construction crew was repairing potholes on the bridge at the time of the incident, unrelated to any structural issues. Governor Moore stated the bridge was fully compliant with safety regulations, with the cause of the collapse still under investigation. Authorities believe the incident was accidental with no signs of terrorism.

President Joe Biden addressed the nation, offering condolences to the families of the victims and pledging full federal support for recovery efforts. He committed "all the federal resources" to assist in reopening the port and rebuilding the bridge, even expressing his intention to secure congressional approval for the federal government to shoulder the entire cost of reconstruction.

He characterized the six deceased workers as "dedicated, resilient, and altruistic."

Addressing the grieving families and loved ones, he expressed, "I'm here to share in your sorrow. We mourn alongside you all."