Black Box Found! 56 Hazardous Containers Partially Damaged, Potential Claims Could Reach $4 Billion

On March 26th, local time, a container ship named “DALI” collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, USA, causing the approximately 2.5-kilometer-long bridge to collapse within seconds.

According to the New York Post, on March 27th, local time, the investigation team from the National Transportation Safety Board in the US announced that they have retrieved the black box from the “DALI” cargo ship involved in the collapse of the Maryland Baltimore bridge. The report suggests that the black box could provide clues to why the ship lost control after leaving the port of Baltimore.

Before hitting the bridge, the container ship had just departed from the port of Baltimore, headed for Colombo, Sri Lanka. Minutes before the incident, the ship’s lights were seen flickering on and off.

According to a briefing by the Coast Guard, before the collision with the bridge, two port workers had reported that the ship had lost propulsion and was experiencing electrical problems.

At the time of the incident, there were 23 people on board the ship. The ship was also carrying 56 containers of hazardous materials, including corrosive substances, flammable items, and lithium-ion batteries.

James Wallace, the Fire Chief of Baltimore City, pointed out that due to the instability of the ship and approximately 56 containers on board containing hazardous materials, it is currently impossible to send personnel to work at the bow of the ship. He also mentioned that some of the containers with hazardous materials had been damaged, and sheen could be seen on the waterway.

The Governor of Maryland stated on March 27th that the port of Baltimore is one of the most important ports in the United States, and the bridge collapse will have a significant impact on the US economy. Currently, the collapsed bridge’s steel beams are scattered in the river, blocking the entrance to the port of Baltimore, making it difficult to determine when navigation can resume.

Currently, the situation is severely affected by factors such as a decrease in the capacity of the Panama Canal and instability in the Red Sea. The collapse of the Baltimore bridge has added to the already fragile state of the US supply chain. According to reports by Agence France-Presse, the incident will cause a “logistical nightmare” on the US East Coast for months or even years.

In addition, several analysts have said that the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore could lead to billions of dollars in claims for insurance companies, with one analyst suggesting that the amount could reach as high as $4 billion, setting a record for the highest loss in maritime insurance.

As the reopening time for the port of Baltimore remains uncertain, insurance companies and analysts are currently assessing the losses that underwriters may face across multiple product lines including property, cargo, marine, liability, trade credit, and business interruption.

Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, stated that a preliminary report on the incident is expected to be released in the next 2 to 4 weeks, but the final report could take up to two years to complete.

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