Baltimore bridge collapse: Crashed ship pulled free from main channel after two months

Removal of Dali cargo vessel marks significant step for port’s recovery from collision that claimed six lives

Recovery teams refloated a huge cargo vessel impeding shipping in Baltimore port early on Monday and pulled it free of the main channel, two months after the boat crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge and caused the span to collapse.

Tugboats led the Dali to a local marine terminal after a successful effort to make the container ship buoyant at about 6.40am EDT (10.40am Irish time), the US Army Corps of Engineers said on social media platform X.

The removal of the Dali marked a significant step in the port’s recovery from the boat’s March 26th collision with one of the bridge’s support pillars. The bridge’s collapse killed six road workers and hindered traffic through the busiest port for car shipments in the US.

President Joe Biden praised the team that freed the ship from its weeks-long imprisonment under the bridge’s wreckage in a post on X on Monday.


“It took the grit of workers and officials coming together to get this done,” Biden said. “That’s Baltimore Strong.”

Maryland governor Wes Moore told NBC on Sunday that workers were on track to restore full access to the port this month. Since the bridge collapse, authorities have opened four temporary channels to allow some shipping to resume.

Crews set off controlled explosions last week to allow them to remove a portion of the fallen bridge from the bow of the Dali, which had been pinning the boat in place. That allowed salvage crews to haul away the twisted metal wreckage using cranes and barges, and free the boat for refloating and removal, the Corps of Engineers said.

Federal investigators said in a preliminary report last week that the Dali had lost electrical power several times before crashing into the bridge as it was leaving the port.

Maryland state officials estimate it will cost $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion (€1.7 billion) to rebuild the bridge and anticipate completion by autumn 2028. – Reuters