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Dali crew remains in limbo on ship despite worldwide concern 9 weeks after Key Bridge collapse

Dali crew members remain on ship 9 weeks after colliding with Key Bridge
Dali crew members remain on ship 9 weeks after colliding with Key Bridge 03:04

BALTIMORE -- For more than 60 days, since the collapse of the Key Bridge, the 21-member crew of the Dali has remained onboard the cargo ship, and there is no firm timetable on when they will be allowed to leave, sparking concern from people around the world. 

The Dali still sits at berth one at Seagirt where it has been for the past week. For eight weeks prior to that, the ship was in the middle of the Patapsco River

"I think they're still trying to figure out how to navigate their current situation," said Andrew Middleton, the director of Apostleship of the Sea, a charitable organization assisting the crew. "For as long as they're here, we're going to be here for them."

Crew members reconnected with families

Middleton was onboard the Dali a week ago speaking to the captain and others. He said they greeted him with smiles.

Investigators confiscated the crew's phones. They now have replacements but still do not have access to their personal data. 

"Everyone on board has been able to reconnect with family back home," Middleton said. 

He told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren that is important "if for no other reason than their mental health at this point to maintain some normalcy with their family members."

"It's in progress"

Crew members are working with their union to get passes for shore leave, but there is a lot of red tape.

"When there are levels of authority in a situation like this, you send it up the chain of command and you wait for it to come back down, so it's being worked on, and it's in progress. We just have to sit and wait and see what the results are of those conversations," Middleton said. 

The Singapore Maritime Officers Union met with the crew last month, taking a picture of them on board, and expressed concerns at that time about what the union called the crew's "unfounded fear of personal criminal liability" and those confiscated phones. 


Outpouring of support

Middleton said he has not asked crew members about what happened during the disaster. 

He remains touched by the outpouring of support. 

"Just to let them know that there are people here in this town and in this country who are concerned about them who are thinking about them and praying for them and want to help them because I think that can kind of put them at a little bit of ease to know that there are people who care," Middleton said. "There are people who still want to help someone they've never met but understand the situation they're in and want to try to help."

Middleton said he is still receiving donations.    

New images of Key Bridge collapse site

New images show how much debris has been removed from the Key Bridge collapse site and how relatively clear the main channel is today. It is expected to fully reopen in early June.


Dali to be repaired in Norfolk

The ship is expected to stay at Seagirt for the next month before heading to Norfolk for repairs

"Experienced and highly specialized law firms"

In an unrelated move, Baltimore County announced they plan to partner with "experienced and highly specialized law firms, Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. and Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin, LLC, to proactively pursue and address legal claims against all those responsible for the tragic Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse."

That plan must still be approved by the Baltimore County Council at its meeting next week. 

"Through this partnership, Baltimore County will aggressively take steps to hold all potentially liable parties responsible and to mitigate the extensive losses that the County, residents, businesses, and other impacted stakeholders experienced due to this devastating catastrophe," the county wrote in a statement.

Several federal investigations into the collapse are ongoing

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