Maryland lawmaker ‘surprised’ by FBI probe into collapsed Baltimore bridge

“A judge must have concluded that the agency had probable cause that criminal acts may have been committed,” said U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - MARCH 26: The cargo ship Dali sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. According to reports, rescuers are still searching for multiple people, while two survivors have been pulled from the Patapsco River. A work crew was fixing potholes on the bridge, which is used by roughly 30,000 people each day, when the ship struck at around 1:30am on Tuesday morning. The accident has temporarily closed the Port of Baltimore, one of the largest and busiest on the East Coast of the U.S. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., told theGrio that he is “surprised” that the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore last month, claiming the lives of six people.

“I certainly expected personal injury lawyers to be retained and brought into this by the individual families who lost family members,” said Ivey. “A judge must have concluded that the agency had probable cause that criminal acts may have been committed, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to result in criminal charges.”

The Washington Post first reported the FBI investigation, in which agency authorities went aboard the Dali cargo ship on Monday to determine what the circumstances were that led to the deadly incident and whether the Dali’s operators complied with federal laws.

This investigation comes as the city of Baltimore aims to hold the Dali’s owner and staff legally responsible for the financial loss sustained by the accident.

On Monday, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott announced that the city would partner with two law firms to “mitigate” the harm caused to city residents.

In a statement obtained by theGrio, Scott said, “…with the ship’s owner filing a petition to limit its liability mere days after the incident, we need to act equally as quickly to protect the City’s interests.”

MARYLAND, UNITED STATES – APRIL 2: U.S. Mayor of Baltimore Brandon Maurice Scott (R) holds a Press Conference on the Collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, United States on April 2, 2024. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Adam Levitt, co-founder of DiCello Levitt and one of the attorneys working with the city, said in a statement obtained by theGrio that this is “one of the largest inner-city maritime disasters in U.S. history.”

Levitt added that his law firm “will bring significant economic and environmental loss claims on behalf of the City of Baltimore” against Dali’s owner and staff.

Both the FBI investigation and the city’s lawsuit against Dali operatives come nearly three weeks after the Dali crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge at 1:30 a.m. on March 26, killing six construction workers. The cargo ship was on its way to Sri Lanka when it lost power and rammed into one of the bridge’s support beams, causing the bridge to plummet into the Patapsco River.

Following the tragedy, President Joe Biden announced that the Biden-Harris administration would allocate $60 million to fund the reconstruction of the bridge. However, some House Republicans have refused to support a bill providing additional funding.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., a senior member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told theGrio that Congress needs to “provide emergency assistance to Baltimore.”

“We’re too busy playing politics [however] the people of Baltimore deserve our assistance,” said Johnson.

In a previous interview with theGrio, Maryland Governor Wes Moore said that funding the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge “is not political” but rather a “patriotic responsibility.”

On Thursday, Maryland lawmakers introduced the Baltimore BRIDGE Relief Act to release funding to rebuild the collapsed bridge.

Ivey told theGrio that despite some Republicans’ opposition to passing legislation to fund the bridge’s rebuilding, he hopes the bill will receive bipartisan support.

In the meantime, the congressman applauded the Biden-Harris administration for “making good on its promises to provide funds” to reconstruct the bridge.

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