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Crew still onboard container ship after Francis Scott Key Bridge collision

The crew of the Dali, the ill-fated vessel that slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, are still onboard the cargo ship — and they could be stuck there even longer as authorities continue to assess the situation.

Two pilots and 21 crewmembers were manning the Dali on Tuesday when it rammed into one of the bridge’s support pillars, causing the 1.6-mile span to crumble and plunge into the Patapsco River. In the seconds before the early-morning crash, the cargo ship lost power, and the crew could no longer steer or control it.

The crew was mostly unharmed during the collision, but they are still stranded aboard the container ship and awaiting rescue, a senior official in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, who is familiar with the matter, told CNN on Thursday. He said of the 21 people on the doomed Dali, 20 are Indian nationals.

“One of them got injured slightly and needed to have some stitches; the stitches have been given, and he has then gone back to the ship,” Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs said in a briefing.

He added, “Our embassy is in close touch with the Indians on board and also with local authorities on this matter.”

Andrew Middleton, director of the International Seafarers Center in Baltimore, said he took one of the pilots and a crewmember shopping ahead of their departure from the Port of Baltimore earlier this week. Since 9/11, international crews have to be escorted by a vetted person through most port areas. He told USA Today it’s not uncommon for crews to reach out to his organization for assistance.

Middleton said he learned of the catastrophe on the Patapsco when he awoke early Tuesday, and then immediately sent a message to a member of the crew.

“My question to him was, ‘Is everyone OK?’ And the answer was ‘yes sir, everyone is safe,'” he told USA TODAY.

Four construction workers, who were patching potholes on the Key Bridge when the ship struck, remained missing as of Thursday. On Wednesday, the bodies of two people were pulled from the waters while another two were rescued right after the collision earlier this week.