FBI Launches Criminal Probe into Baltimore Bridge Collapse

(IntegrityTimes.com) – The FBI remained tightlipped after news reports revealed that the agency had opened a criminal investigation into the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. The Associated Press reported on April 15 that the investigation was primarily focused on whether the crew complied with federal laws before leaving the port. The Washington Post reported on the same day that it had witnessed federal agents boarding the ship to conduct a search. In a statement to The Hill, the FBI said that the agency was on board to conduct “authorized law enforcement activity,” adding, “We will have no further comment.”

The Washington Post initially broke the news of the investigation, citing two anonymous U.S. officials. Those officials reportedly said that the investigators were attempting to find out if the crew decided to leave the port even though it was aware of serious problems hours before it undocked. Later that day, the Associated Press reported that electrical issues were present before leaving but the crew decided to proceed. An anonymous source told the outlet that alarms for the refrigerated containers had gone off while it was docked, which most likely meant there was a problem with the ship’s power supply.

The AP also reported that the crew had said they would address the problems, meaning that it was likely fully aware that something was wrong. Video footage of the seconds leading up to the ship’s impact with the bridge showed that it had experienced a power failure. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating the incident, including whether the ship had known power problems. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said that the focus of its investigation would be on the ship’s electrical system. The bridge collapse resulted in the death of six roadworkers who were working on the bridge at the time of its collapse.

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