Explosives Used To Blow Part Of Baltimore’s Bridge To Clear Debris From Bow Of MV Dali Ship

Baltimore Key Bridge
Screengrab from video posted on X by USACE Baltimore

Salvage crews in Baltimore used a controlled explosion on Monday, May 13th, 2024, to destroy part of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge stuck on the bow of the MV Dali ship.

The controlled explosion cleared the way to remove debris blocking a critical shipping route.

The demolition set for Sunday, May 12th, 2024, was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

Six construction workers lost their lives when the bridge collapsed during a collision with the cargo ship Dali on March 26, 2024.

The ship lost power and drifted off course, colliding with a support column of the bridge and dumping a large section into the Patapsco River.

The explosion successfully shattered portions of the collapsed bridge, making retrieving the twisted metal wreckage easier.

The operation aimed at dividing the wreckage into smaller pieces that cranes and barges could carry away.

Authorities verified that the demolition went on as planned following the discovery of the final victim’s body the previous week.


Video Credits: USACE Baltimore/X

The MV Dali, which is 948 feet (289 m) in length, has remained trapped in bridge scrap metal at the accident site.

Twenty-one crew members, mostly of Indian origin, remained aboard the vessel to provide maintenance while sheltering during the demolition.

Officials highlighted the operation’s importance in resuming maritime trade via the Port of Baltimore, a vital centre for various commodities, including autos, machinery, and gypsum.

The port’s closure following the collapse disrupted supply chains, affecting thousands of workers and businesses that relied on port operations.

Plans are underway to refloat the MV Dali within the next few days, after which it will be relocated to a neighbouring terminal for temporary repairs.

The total operations, estimated to cost between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion, involve replacing the bridge, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2028.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board investigate the incident.

The city of Baltimore has begun legal action against the ship’s owners, accusing them of negligence and recklessness.

Despite the difficulties presented by the disaster, officials are optimistic about the recovery effort.

During a news conference, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi highlighted connections between the Key Bridge accident and the determination shown during Baltimore’s historic incidents, highlighting the city’s resolve in unfortunate circumstances.

Reference: Reuters, BBC

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