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What We Know About the Crew on the Ship That Hit the Baltimore Bridge

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What We Know About the Crew on the Ship That Hit the Baltimore Bridge

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The crew members of the cargo ship that crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge were still aboard Thursday, more than two days after the collision that collapsed the bridge and left six people dead.

Most of the crew — at least 20 people — were from India, according to Synergy Marine, the management company that operates the vessel, the Dali. Randhir Jaiswal, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said on Thursday that the crew was in good condition; one crew member was injured in the crash and received stitches at a nearby hospital before returning to the ship, he said.

The ship, owned by the Singapore-based Grace Ocean Private Ltd., had just embarked on a 27-day voyage to Singapore when it struck the bridge early Tuesday morning. Darrell Wilson, a spokesman for Synergy Marine, said on Thursday he did not know when crew members would leave the ship.

Josh Messick, a chaplain and the executive director of the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Center, a religious nonprofit that seeks to protect the rights of mariners, said the crew did not have reliable internet access. His organization was working to deliver Wi-Fi access and SIM cards so they could reach family members back home, he said.

Large container ships like the Dali typically have about 20 crew members, a figure that has come down over the years as operators have sought to cut labor costs. Larger shipping companies may recruit workers from countries like India and the Philippines, where looser labor laws enable them to pay cheaper wages.

Crews’ time at sea can vary, but some voyages are now taking longer than usual: Attacks on ships by the Houthi rebel group in Yemen in the Red Sea have caused lengthy detours away from the Suez Canal, disrupting global shipping across the globe.

Typically, a container ship crew includes the captain, an officer in charge of securing the cargo, sailors assigned to the engines and handling the ship’s myriad systems, and stewards who handle tasks like cooking and laundry.

John Konrad, a licensed container ship captain and the editor of gCaptain.com, a shipping industry news site, said every container ship is “unique and has its idiosyncrasies.” It’s normal for crew members to stay on damaged ships because the captain is still in command, and crew members must make sure the crashed vessel — and any potentially hazardous goods — does not pose a further danger.

“They’re making sure the ship doesn’t catch on fire,” Mr. Konrad said in an interview, adding that the crew must also remain to comply with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation.

On Wednesday, Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the N.T.S.B., said the ship’s cooks were working when she boarded the ship. “It smelled very good, and I was very hungry,” she said.

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