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Attorneys reach deal to allow some Dali crew members to leave the United States

Salvors with the Unified Command prepare the section of bridge sitting on the port side bow of the M/V Dali for controlled demolition, precision cutting, on May 13. Lawyers said a deal has been reached that would allow some of the crew to return home this week. Photo by Christopher Rosario/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/UPI
Salvors with the Unified Command prepare the section of bridge sitting on the port side bow of the M/V Dali for controlled demolition, precision cutting, on May 13. Lawyers said a deal has been reached that would allow some of the crew to return home this week. Photo by Christopher Rosario/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/UPI | License Photo

June 20 (UPI) -- Baltimore city attorneys reached an agreement with lawyers representing the crew of the Dali that would allow them to get off of the ship and leave the United States three months after the vessel struck a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, destroying much of the structure.

City attorneys had been trying to prevent the crew from leaving the ship so they could continue to be questioned during its investigation of the massive cargo ship. The 21-member crew from India and Sri Lanka had not been allowed to leave since the March 26 incident.

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"Claimants met and conferred and approached counsel for the vessel Interests with a compromise proposal to resolve the dispute and avoid the intervention of the court," Attorney Adam Levitt said, according to court documents seen by CBS News.

"That compromise ... includes a guarantee that the vessel Interest will produce the witness in question for deposition during the discovery phase of this case."

As part of the deal, crew members who still need to be deposed will have that happen in London or another agreed-upon location, according to court filings.

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Attorney William Bennett, who has been representing the Dali's ship owner Grace Ocean and manager Synergy Marine, said they were planning for eight crew members to fly home this week.

"Our clients are in the process of arranging for replacement crew for the Dali," Bennett said in court filings, according to CNN. "We have been advised that the U.S. Coast Guard will permit certain crew members to return to their home countries but has requested that other crew members remain in the United States."

Those leaving crew members are expected to be flown from the United States on Thursday.

"All of these crew members have been interviewed by [the Justice Department] and the DOJ does not object to their departure from the United States."

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