“Black out” may have led to the brother race

Black out may have led to the brother race

Updated 13.39 | Published 13.29



At 1:30 a.m., a bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship crashed into it.

Navigation errors, “black out” or the human factor may have played a role.

– Anything can happen, and it is unfortunate that this happened, says Marco Svantesson, head of the Maritime Traffic Service VTS.

  • A container ship from Singapore collided with the Key Bridge in Baltimore, causing the bridge to completely collapse. The rescue service launched a search operation for 20 people.
  • The ship went off course, but the reason for this is unclear. Possible causes include a “black out” (where all engine power is lost), navigation errors, or human error.
  • The head of VTS (maritime traffic service), Marco Svantesson, points out that such incidents should not occur and that there are routines to prevent them, for example to reduce speed or prepare for emergency anchoring.
  • ⓘ The summary is made with the support of AI tools from OpenAI and quality assured by Aftonbladet. Read our AI policy here.

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    The Singapore-flagged container ship Dali was entering the Port of Baltimore when it collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The bridge, which is over two kilometers long, completely collapsed – cars and people followed it into the water. Within a short time, the rescue service was on the scene and began a search operation for 20 people.

    – The only thing I know at the moment is that the ship left the route and hit the bridge pillar. It can be due to several things, says Marco Svantesson.

    How it got off course is unclear. Neither the shipping company nor the police have commented on what caused the collision. It may be due to a “black out”.

    – Then all power, all engine power disappears. Then the ship basically becomes unmanoeuvrable, says Marco Svantesson.

    Errors in the ship’s navigation system can also be behind it.

    – It’s really hard to say. It could also be the case that the human factor is behind it, but the investigation will have to show that.

    A video captured the accident. According to CNN, the video shows how the ship’s lights were turned off and on twice just before the collision.

    “Incredibly fast process”

    When a ship arrives in a waterway that can be difficult to navigate, several safety procedures are in place to avoid an accident.

    – You slow down, you don’t drive at full blast here. Then a series of safety-enhancing measures are taken, including preparing the anchors, in order to possibly be able to anchor in an emergency, says Marco Svantesson.

    – This means that the anchors are prepared to be released quickly, in order to be able to reduce the ship’s speed as soon as possible.

    But even if the container ship had slowed down, an emergency anchor might have been too late, says Marco Svantesson. The ship’s size and weight make it difficult to maneuver.

    – It is an incredibly fast process. I can’t even speculate on what they were trying to do, but they must have tried to get it right. It takes time to get the ship to respond to what you want to do.

    Another safety measure used on similar waterways is to hire a pilot.

    – The pilot is like a guide on board, who has a good grasp of the area. In a Swedish port you usually have to hire a pilot, but I don’t know what it looks like in Baltimore in particular.

    Neither the police in Baltimore nor the shipping company that owns the boat have commented on what may have caused the accident.