Dali Cargo Ship Refloated in Port of Baltimore

May 20, 2024
Crews are getting closer to reopening the vital waterway

The Dali, the 948-foot-long cargo ship stuck in the Patapsco River for weeks after it collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge, was refloated today, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The move marks a milestone in the effort to salvage the wreckage from the disaster and reopen access to the Port of Baltimore.

Tugboats are escorting the ship to a local terminal. The move comes nearly eight weeks since the malfunctioning ship struck the bridge, causing its collapse and killing six construction workers, cutting off the port and demolishing part of I-695.  

The Key Bridge Unified Command, a multi-agency effort in the Key Bridge response, has said its priority is to restore the full depth and width of the Fort McHenry channel, allowing pre-collapse traffic patterns in and out of the port. The team intends to do that by the end of May.

The process to refloat the ship and the salvage effort has been delicate and dangerous, involving giant floating cranes to move debris and relocate shipping containers, and using explosives to move tons of mangled steel and roadway.

The relocation of the ship, which is about the length of three football fields, brings Key Bridge Unified Command close to reopening the federal channel.

The ship will travel at a speed of one mile an hour as it makes its way to Seagirt Marine Terminal.

At the local terminal, any remaining wreckage on the ship would be offloaded and taken to Sparrows Point for recycling or disposal.

Dali's crew of 22 have remained on the ship since the March 26 accident and will remain on the ship as it's transported. The crewmembers do not have the appropriate visas to leave the ship, so they rely on organizations to bring them essentials.

It was not immediately clear if and when the malfunctioning ship might be able to sail again to leave the Port of Baltimore.

Since the collapse, the FBI and NTSB have launched separate investigations into the incident and Baltimore City announced a lawsuit against the owners and managers of the cargo ship, alleging negligence.

Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown was approved last week to contract five external law firms to assist in litigation over the collapse.

The Dali lost electrical power multiple times before leaving the Port of Baltimore and crashing into the Key Bridge, according to a preliminary report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The lawsuit claims the Singapore-based owners of the Dali were negligent in letting the ship leave the Port of Baltimore without fixing known power problems.

A final NTSB report, which would include conclusions and safety recommendations, should come in a year or two. You can read the full NTSB preliminary report here. 


Source: CBS News, Fox 9 News 

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