First Cargo Ship Pass Through Newly Opened Deep-Water Channel After Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Vessel
Screengrab from YouTube video posted by AP

The first cargo ship successfully passed through a newly opened deep-water channel in Baltimore on April 25.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse had disrupted most of the maritime commerce through the city’s port.

The Balsa 94, a Panama-flagged bulk carrier, became the first vessel to travel through the new 35-foot (12-meter) channel on its way to Saint John, Canada.

Later that day, two additional commercial ships joined in, including a vehicle carrier destined for Panama.

The reopening of the channel represents progress in the ongoing cleanup and recovery efforts.

Crews have worked tirelessly to remove thousands of tons of shredded steel and concrete from the entrance to Baltimore’s harbor.

Five vessels that have been trapped in Baltimore for weeks are anticipated to depart through the new temporary channel finally.

Other ships have been scheduled to enter the port, which handles more cars and farm equipment than any other in the country.


Video Credits: AP/YouTube

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge has had a tremendous economic impact, affecting thousands of longshoremen, truck drivers, and small business owners.

Local and state officials focus on reopening the port and returning traffic to normal capacity to mitigate economic consequences.

On Thursday morning, the Balsa 94, accompanied by two tug boats, passed through the channel, crossing the collapsed bridge and the grounded MV Dali, the container ship responsible for the disaster.

Despite the reopening, parts of the port’s main channel remain restricted by steel span pieces.

The Balsa 94 is expected to arrive in Canada by Monday.

Tragically, six members of a roadwork crew died in the collapse. Four bodies have been discovered, with two still missing.

A monument near the bridge has been expanding, remembering the victims with wooden crosses decorated with flags from their home countries and personal belongings.

The channel’s reopening is a temporary measure; it will be closed again until around May 10 for more cleanup measures.

The main channel is set to reopen next month following the removal of the Dali from the collapse site.

The legal consequences of the collapse are also being addressed, with Baltimore’s mayor and city council requesting full accountability from the Dali’s owner and manager.

The FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the reason for the ship’s power failure and collision with the bridge.

As commercial ships resume their voyages, crews begin the difficult task of cleaning debris from the collapse site, a reminder of the tragedy and continued efforts to recover.

Reference: AP, CBS News

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