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Baltimore Salvage Crews to Detonate Explosives, Freeing Cargo Ship Dali from Collapsed Bridge

Salvage crews in Baltimore are preparing to use explosives to free the cargo ship Dali from the wreckage of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. The explosion will separate a large section of the bridge’s truss that is currently resting on the ship’s bow. According to Unified Command’s Petty Officer Ronald Hodges, the crew of the Dali, who have been living on the ship since the accident, will not need to be evacuated during the blast.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore stated that the salvage crews are following best practices and historic methods for removing large amounts of steel. Once the precision cutting is completed, the steel will be safely removed from the water, allowing for the Dali to be refloated and the federal channel to be reopened.

The process of placing the precision explosives on the truss will take several days, and the timing may be impacted by weather and tides. Hodges mentioned that the media will be given a 48-hour notice before the explosion occurs.

Unified Command has been using a hydraulic claw and precision-cutting tools to clear as much of the wreckage as possible. The Dali collided with one of the main supports of the nearly 50-year-old bridge on March 30, resulting in the deaths of six construction workers and blocking crucial shipping traffic into the Port of Baltimore. On Tuesday, officials announced that they had recovered the body of the sixth victim, 37-year-old Baltimore resident José Mynor López.

Colonel Roland L. Butler Jr., Superintendent of the Maryland Department of State Police, expressed condolences to the families of the workers and described the recovery of López’s body as a significant milestone in their efforts.

Baltimore officials have set a target date of May 10 to remove the truss, refloat the Dali, and open a 45-foot deep channel for ship traffic. They also plan to open a permanent 700-foot wide, 50-foot deep channel by the end of May.

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