FBI Opens Criminal Probe Into Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Report


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, according to a source who spoke with The Associated Press.

The investigation, which was first publicized by the Washington Post, focuses on the 985-foot container ship Dali and at least partially examines whether the crew knew the ship had major system issues when they left the Port of Baltimore.

“Authorities are looking into the events leading up to the moment the ship lost power before slamming into one of the bridge’s support pillars, the Post reported, citing two U.S. officials familiar with the matter,” Fox News reported.

In a statement to Fox, the FBI confirmed the bureau “is present aboard the cargo ship Dali conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity. There is no other public information available, and we will have no further comment.”

“My office generally will not confirm the existence of or otherwise comment about investigations,” Erek L. Barron, the U.S. Attorney for Maryland, said in a statement to the Post. “However, the public should know, whether it’s gun violence, civil rights abuse, financial fraud, or any other threat to public safety or property, we will seek accountability for anyone who may be responsible.”


The criminal investigation is distinct from the one the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting to ascertain the cause of the collapse and assess safety precautions.

The investigation is being conducted in conjunction with Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s announcement on Monday that the city is launching “legal action to hold the wrongdoers responsible and to mitigate the immediate and long-term harm caused to Baltimore City residents” in response to the bridge collapse.

“The City of Baltimore will take decisive action to hold responsible all entities accountable for the Key Bridge tragedy, including the owner, charterer, manager/operator, and the manufacturer of the M/V Dali, as well as any other potentially liable third parties,” the mayor said in a statement.

The Dali’s lights abruptly turned off and then turned back on after four minutes, according to investigators. Black smoke billowed from the ship’s chimney at 1:25 a.m. Before it struck the support at 1:26 a.m., the ship seemed to turn, and the lights flickered once more.

At the time of the accident, officials stated that workers were filling potholes in the roadway on the bridge above where the ship had collided. They pulled two people out of the river. Three bodies have been found, three are presumed dead, and six were reported missing.


The Port of Baltimore is the busiest port for the import and export of cars, and President Joe Biden has emphasized that the government will endeavor to rebuild the bridge as soon as possible. The Port of Baltimore plays a significant role in the Northeast economy.

Additionally looking into the collapse is the National Transportation Safety Board.

Late last month, President Joe Biden got a first-hand look at the efforts made to clear away the “mangled mess” of the remains of the fallen Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

He later received a briefing on the situation in the water and its effects on the area from local officials, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Coast Guard while on the ground.

To prevent an even higher death toll, the president also greeted the police officers who assisted in obstructing traffic to the bridge just before its collision with a ship.

“I’m here to say your nation has your back, and I mean it,” Biden declared as he stood on the shoreline in Dundalk, a small town outside of Baltimore, overlooking the fallen bridge. “Your nation has your back.”

When a massive cargo ship struck the bridge in the middle of the night on March 26, eight workers—immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—were filling potholes on it. The bridge collapsed. In the days that followed, the bodies of two more men were found and two more men were saved.

Test your skills with this Quiz!