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City looks to block crew from leaving US after Baltimore bridge collapse

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Crew members of the Dali have been cleared to leave their ship as early as Thursday, June 20. The ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and caused it to collapse in March. Now, attorneys are asking a federal judge to prevent eight crew members on the cargo ship from debarking and returning to their home countries amid ongoing investigations into what led up to the deadly collapse.

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None of the Dali’s 21 crew members, who hail from India and Sri Lanka, have been able to get off the ship since it lost power on March 26 and hit one of the bridge’s support beams. The crew was even still onboard when explosives were detonated to break apart fallen bridge trusses and free the vessel from where it was stuck. 

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In court filings from Tuesday, June 18, attorneys representing the city of Baltimore said the men should remain in the U.S. so they can be deposed in ongoing civil litigation over who should be held responsible for covering costs and damages from the collapse. The concern is there’s no guaranteed way to make the crew members available for future questioning if they’re allowed to leave the country. 

A U.S. district judge has ordered a hearing set for Thursday morning on the matter. The judge has ordered crew members not to leave before that hearing. 

Emails included in the court filings show the eight crew members scheduled to return home have already been interviewed by Department of Justice investigators and the department does not object to their departure. ‘court filings show the eight crew members scheduled to return home have already been interviewed by Department of Justice investigators and the department does not object to their departure. 

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[JACK AYLMER]

CREW MEMBERS OF THE DALI HAVE BEEN CLEARED TO LEAVE THEIR SHIP THAT CRASHED INTO THE FRANCIS SCOTT KEY BRIDGE IN BALTIMORE AND CAUSED IT TO COLLAPSE AS EARLY AS TOMORROW – BUT THE CITY OF BALTIMORE DOESN’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN. 

ATTORNEYS ARE ASKING A FEDERAL JUDGE TO PREVENT 8 CREW MEMBERS ON THE CARGO SHIP FROM DEBARKING AND RETURNING TO THEIR HOME COUNTRIES… AMID ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS INTO WHAT LED UP TO THE DEADLY COLLAPSE. 

NONE OF THE DALI’S ROUGHLY TWO DOZEN CREW MEMBERS – WHO HAIL FROM INDIA AND SRI LANKA – HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET OFF THE SHIP SINCE IT LOST POWER ON MARCH 26-TH AND HIT ONE OF THE BRIDGE’S SUPPORT BEAMS. THEY WERE EVEN STILL ONBOARD WHEN EXPLOSIVES WERE DETONATED TO BREAK APART FALLEN BRIDGE TRUSSES AND FREE THE VESSEL FROM WHERE IT WAS STUCK. 

COURT FILINGS SHOW ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING THE CITY OF BALTIMORE SAID THE MEN SHOULD REMAIN IN THE U-S SO THEY CAN BE DEPOSED IN ONGOING CIVIL LITIGATION — OVER WHO SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR COVERING COSTS AND DAMAGES FROM THE BRIDGE COLLAPSE. 

THE CONCERN IS THERE’S NO GUARANTEED WAY TO MAKE THE CREW MEMBERS AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE QUESTIONING IF THEY’RE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY.  

A U-S DISTRICT JUDGE HAS ORDERED A HEARING SET FOR THURSDAY MORNING ON THE MATTER. THE JUDGE HAS ORDERED THEM NOT TO LEAVE BEFORE THAT HEARING. 

EMAILS INCLUDED IN TUESDAY’S COURT FILINGS SHOW THE EIGHT CREW MEMBERS SCHEDULED TO RETURN HOME HAVE ALREADY BEEN INTERVIEWED BY DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATORS AND THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT OBJECT TO THEIR DEPARTURE.