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HomeNewsBaltimore bridge collapse: Focus shifts to removing debris

Baltimore bridge collapse: Focus shifts to removing debris

Baltimore bridge collapse: Focus shifts to removing debris

NTSB investigators on the cargo vessel Dali, which struck and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 27, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo/AFP)

NEW DELHI: Teams of engineers are currently engaged in the task of removing the debris from the

Francis Scott Key Bridge

in Maryland, which collapsed into the Patapsco River after a

cargo ship collision

. The operation also involves the challenging mission of locating and recovering the bodies of four missing workers.
Maryland governor Wes Moore emphasized the need for detailed planning due to the unprecedented complexity of the

salvage operation

, with a massive crane looming in the background.

The site is bustling with seven floating cranes, ten tugboats, and various other vessels, including Coast Guard boats, working tirelessly to clear the wreckage blocking the Port of Baltimore.
The bridge fragments, weighing up to 4,000 tons, pose a significant challenge for the experts tasked with cutting them into manageable pieces for removal. Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath of the U.S. Coast Guard highlighted the necessity of breaking down the bridge effectively for lifting purposes.
The tragic incident claimed the lives of workers from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, who were part of a maintenance crew on the bridge. Despite the ongoing search and rescue efforts, the murky water and extensive debris underwater are impeding progress.

Divers are facing zero visibility conditions, hindering their ability to navigate through the wreckage. The crew of the cargo ship involved in the collision remains on board, assisting authorities in the investigation and potential removal of the vessel once the debris is cleared.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, suspected to be a result of the ship’s power failure. Environmental concerns have been raised, although no hazardous materials have been detected in the water so far. The economic impact of the bridge closure and port disruption is being assessed, with plans for rebuilding the bridge already in motion.

President Joe Biden’s administration has approved immediate aid of $60 million for the reconstruction, ensuring federal support for the project.
The closure of the Port of Baltimore and the severed highway link will have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only dockworkers and commuters but also US consumers facing potential shipping delays.
The loss of a vital transportation route handling thousands of vehicles daily is a significant blow to the local community. Maryland transportation officials are exploring solutions to expedite the rebuilding process and minimize disruptions.
(With inputs from agencies)