Baltimore bridge collapse: Channel fully cleared after cargo ship collided with bridge support | US News

Baltimore’s shipping channel has been fully reopened, nearly three months after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed.

On 26 March, the cargo ship Dali lost power and crashed into one of the supports of the bridge in Baltimore, Maryland.

Video captured the moment the huge structure fell into the river, killing six men – all roadway workers who had been on the bridge at the time.

Since then the Fort McHenry Federal Channel has been closed, effectively shuttering the Port of Baltimore as crews worked to untangle the mess of concrete, steel and the shipwreck

The US Army Corps of Engineers said on Monday evening the passageway where the Key Bridge buckled was now “safe for transit”.

The Fort McHenry Federal Channel was cleared and restored on 11 June. Pic: AP
The Fort McHenry Federal Channel was cleared and restored on 11 June. Pic: AP

Around 2,000 salvage responders removed around 50,000 tons of steel and concrete from the Patapsco River, and the waterway has been restored to its original dimensions of 700 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

Col. Estee Pinchasin, Baltimore district commander for the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), said: “I cannot overstate how proud I am of our team.

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“It was incredible seeing so many people from different parts of our government, from around our country and all over the world, come together in the Unified Command and accomplish so much in this amount of time.”

Read more: The ‘scariest’ bridge in America – could disaster strike again?

He also added: “Although the overarching goal to restore full operational capacity to the Federal Channel was successful, each day we thought of those who lost their lives, their families and the workers impacted by this tragic event.”

As part of the near-three month clearing operation, part of the Key Bridge was destroyed in a controlled explosion in order to free the Dali.

The 948ft ship was trapped at the scene since the accident and was covered in scrap metal from the bridge.

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From May: Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key bridge demolished

A total of 21 crew members, most of them Indian, remained on the ship while maintaining the vessel. On 20 May, the Dali was moved by tugboats to a nearby terminal.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in May the Dali lost power several times before it rammed into the bridge.

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Rebuilding the span will last until at least 2028 and cost up to $1.9bn (£1.5bn), state authorities in Maryland previously said.

It comes after the FBI opened a criminal probe into the collapse of the Baltimore bridge, the Washington Post reported in April.


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