Updated Apr 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

FBI conducts "law enforcement activity" aboard cargo ship that struck Baltimore bridge

The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge that collapsed into the Patapsco River

The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge, seen on April 9. Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The FBI confirmed Monday that its agents have boarded the cargo ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore last month and caused its collapse.

Why it matters: The news comes as multiple outlets reported Monday that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation related to the collision.

The big picture: "The FBI is present aboard the cargo ship Dali conducting court authorized law enforcement activity," the FBI told Axios Monday, adding that no further information was publicly available.

  • Erek L. Barron, the U.S. Attorney in Maryland, said in a statement Monday that his office "generally will not confirm the existence of or otherwise comment about investigations."
  • "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," Barron added.

Between the lines: News of the FBI boarding the cargo ship Dali came on the same day that Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that the city had hired two law firms to take legal action regarding the bridge collapse and its impacts.

  • "Through this engagement, 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," Scott's office said in a press release.

State of play: The catastrophic bridge collapse snarled shipping and traffic in the Port of Baltimore and killed six construction workers who were on the bridge at the time.

  • Salvage teams announced they recovered another body presumed to be one of the missing workers on Monday. Two more have yet to be recovered from the Patapsco River.
  • The disruption is expected to have far-reaching economic consequences.
  • President Biden has called for the federal government to foot the full bill of rebuilding the bridge and has already approved Maryland's request of $60 million to assist in initial recovery efforts.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the recovery of another body from the Patapsco River.

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