There were electrical problems in the port that caused the ship to hit the bridge

The explosion that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge: The Dali ship and its refloating, as described by Col. Pinchasin

BALTIMORE — Crews set off a chain of carefully placed explosives Monday to break down the largest remaining span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, and with a boom and a splash, the mangled steel trusses came crashing down into the river below.

The explosives blew up and released black smoke. The longest trusses toppled away from the grounded Dali container ship and slid off its bow, sending a wall of water splashing back toward the ship.

It marked a major step in freeing the Dali, which has been stuck among the wreckage since it lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s support columns shortly after leaving Baltimore on March 26.

To get to a terminal nearby for repairs, the Dali will have to be refloated. A deeper channel for large container ships is still not functional, despite the fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened a temporary alternate channel.

The ship is expected to be refloated within the next few days. At a nearby terminal tugboats will take it to the port. It’s likely to stay there for several weeks and get temporary repairs before being moved to the shipyard for more substantial repairs.

“This was a very big milestone for our progression forward,” Col. Estee Pinchasin, Baltimore District Commander for the Army Corps of Engineers, said in the immediate aftermath of the demolition. She said that crews don’t anticipate using any more explosives.

The crew of the ship remained on board during the detonation, and there were no injuries or issues reported, said O’Connell.

The crew members haven’t been allowed to leave the grounded vessel since the disaster. The ship has been maintained and officials have been assisting investigators. There are 22 crew members, 20 of which are from India.

Debris Breaking Down a 500 feet Bridge: Seven Crews and a Six-Body Subsequently Destroyed

Engineers spent weeks preparing to use explosives to break down the span which was 500 feet long and weighed over 600 tons. The demolition was postponed Sunday because of thunderstorms.

Wes Moore said at the news conference that there have been no injuries and that this was a best practice. The top priority for us is safety in this operation.

Engineers using precision cuts to control how the trusses break down is depicted in a videographic. They said the method allows for “surgical precision” and is one of the safest and most efficient ways to remove steel under a high level of tension. Hydraulic grabbers will now lift the broken sections of steel onto barges.

The NTSB and the FBI are separately investigating the incident. Their findings could play an important role in determining who is ultimately held liable for the accident.

State and federal officials have commended the salvage crews and other members of the cleanup operation who helped recover the remains of the six construction workers. The last body was recovered from the underwater wreckage last week. All of the victims were Latino immigrants who came to the U.S. for job opportunities. The bridge was destroyed while they were filling potholes.

The Baltimore Port Authority’s Key Bridge Disaster and the Baltimore Fort McHenry, a “War of 1812,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi

The operation is on track to open the port’s 50-foot deep draft channel by the end of May, according to officials. The temporary channel is a tad shorter than the permanent one. Officials said 365 commercial vessels have passed through the port in recent weeks. The port normally processes more cars and farm equipment than any other in the country.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Baltimore native whose father and brother served as mayor decades ago, compared the Key Bridge disaster to the overnight bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, which long ago inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812. Maryland’s resilience is a testament to that, she said.

Pelosi, a Democrat who represents California’s 11th district, attended Monday’s news conference with two of her relatives. She said that the agencies have come together quickly without sacrificing safety to respond to the tragedy.

WASHINGTON — The container ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge had electrical problems the day before it left the Port of Baltimore when it was docked, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Dali experienced a “blackout” during in-port maintenance on March 25, the NTSB wrote in its report, when “a crewmember mistakenly closed an inline engine exhaust damper.”

Most maritime traffic into Baltimore’s port was halted when the Key Bridge collapsed, as well as the interstate highway which carried 34,000 vehicles per day.

State and federal officials have pledged to rebuild the Key Bridge, but they acknowledge it won’t be easy or quick. A legal fight is taking place over who will pay to fix the bridge.

Study of the Bay Bridge Protected Pier System, Inc., at the Center of Maryland Highway & Natural Bridge Building, Edwardsville, Maryland

Investigators at the NTSB say they analyzed samples of the fuel that was being burned at the time of the accident, as well as other fuel tanks on the vessel. The results didn’t find any concerns about the quality of the fuel.

The NTSB says it’s working with the Maryland Transportation Authority to assess its other bridges and to determine whether pier protection measures need to be improved. The Bay Bridge’s existing protection system is being looked at for improvements, according to the report.

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