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Why did the Baltimore Bridge fall?  This is what the study indicates

Why did the Baltimore Bridge fall? This is what the study indicates

(CNN) –– The investigation into why a cargo ship lost power and crashed into the Baltimore Bridge in February is now focusing on engine room equipment, the National Safety Board said Wednesday. Transportation (NTSB).

Equipment manufacturer Hyundai sent employees to the Daly ship to help “download power system data and inspect switches,” NTSP chief Jennifer Homandy told the Senate Commerce Committee.

“We are now focused on this investigation,” Homandy said. “Of course, this is preliminary. It could go down different paths as we continue this investigation.”

Hyundai returned to the U.S. this week “with experts to check the switches,” he said. The company did not immediately respond to CNN's request for more information.

Data from engine room systems will “help us tremendously,” Homandy said, because the data recorder on the Tally — known as the VDR — isn't designed to collect granular data from internal systems in the same way that an airplane's data recorder is. Airplane.

“There's not enough information to understand what's going on in the engine room,” he explains. “It's actually a preview of the ship's major systems.”

Investigators have conducted further interviews with ship crew members, he said, adding that the main bridge collapsed and killed six ship workers, including the commanding officer, in a collision around 1:30 a.m. on March 26. Road construction.

This sonar image shows debris in the deep end of the Baltimore Harbor Federal Shipping Channel (left) and one of the main supports of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (center). (Credit: Bobby Petty/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Among the interviewees were Daly's second-in-command – the highest-ranking officer on duty at the time – as well as the two pilots who guided the ship through the narrow channel of the Patapsco River, both experienced and trained local sailors. Investigators also spoke to crew members involved with the engine and electrical systems, including the chief and assistant engineer and an electrician.

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Homendi said NTSB investigators are on the scene of the Key Bridge, a critical stretch of interstate highway in and around Baltimore, in preparation for freeing the vessel, reopening the canal and eventually removing debris from the bridge. port.

The panel's top Republican, Sen. Ted Cruz said he hoped the Biden administration would “reduce bureaucratic hesitation and delay” in rebuilding the bridge, and criticized the environmental review processes used for other infrastructure projects.

“There is no reason to go through a lengthy review of environmental permits to build a new bridge on the same site as the old one,” Cruz declared. “Given the port's importance to the economy, you have to wonder if our federal government is treating this as an emergency. I can't imagine that China would have cleaned up the debris in a few days.”

During a visit to the site of the collapse this Friday, Biden pledged federal support for recovery efforts while offering his condolences to the families of the six workers who died.

Separately, the US Army Corps of Engineers released new 3D sonar images of debris beneath the river's surface. They provide a clear picture of the mess crews are scrambling to clean up.