Black box recovered from cargo ship that crashed into Baltimore bridge could help uncover what went wrong

  • A black box has been recovered from the ship that crashed into a Baltimore bridge.

  • The Dali, a Singapore-flagged cargo ship, hit Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday.

  • Officials say six people are missing and presumed dead from the bridge collapse.

What exactly went wrong to cause the Baltimore bridge collapse this week? Data from the cargo ship that crashed will hopefully shed light on the disaster.

Officials on Wednesday recovered the ship's black box data recorder, which could help investigators piece together what caused the crash.

"From the data, we hope to develop a timeline of events that led up to the striking of the bridge," National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy told CBS News on Wednesday. "We hope to have that later today."

Guy Platten — secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, the global trade association for merchant ship owners and operators — told Bloomberg earlier on Wednesday that parsing through recorded audio from the crew discussions during the incident will hopefully give investigators some answers.

"So much data will be on board the ship, including voice-data recorders, so they'll have a full transcript of exactly the sequence of events," he told Bloomberg Radio.

"We need to see what, exactly what went wrong," he added. "I know it will be very, very thorough, and those results will be published."

The Singapore-flagged Dali cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, early Tuesday morning, causing it to collapse.

Per ship-tracking data, it left Baltimore headed for Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, at approximately 1 a.m., roughly half an hour before the crash.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said in a press conference on Tuesday that the ship's crew "notified authorities of a power issue."

The Dali "experienced momentary loss of propulsion" during the blackout, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said in a statement, citing a report from Synergy Marine, the ship's manager.

The container ship in June suffered an issue related to its propulsion system, according to records from an international database of port controls in Asia Pacific, though it's unclear if the issue in that incident is related to what caused Tuesday's bridge collision.

Officials said eight people were missing following the bridge's collapse but two have since been rescued. One was initially hospitalized in "very serious condition," according to Baltimore Fire Department chief James Wallace, but they have since been discharged. The second refused treatment.

The six remaining people missing are presumed dead and officials have shifted from active search-and-rescue efforts to a recovery operation, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said at a press conference Tuesday night.

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