canada africa partner reservation Crews prepare for controlled demolition as cleanup continues at the bridge collapse site

Crews prepare for controlled demolition as cleanup continues at the bridge collapse site

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Crews prepare for a controlled demolition to tear down the largest remaining span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland

BALTIMORE — After weeks of preparation, crews will conduct a controlled demolition Sunday to demolish the largest remaining span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland, which was demolished March 26 by the impact of a massive container ship.

The steel span landed on the ship’s bow after the Dali lost control and crashed into one of the bridge’s support columns shortly after leaving Baltimore. Since then, the ship has been stuck among the wreckage and the busy port of Baltimore has been closed to most maritime traffic.

Six members of a roadworks crew were killed in the collapse. The last of their bodies were recovered from the underwater wreckage earlier this week. All victims were Latino immigrants who came to the US for employment. They were patching holes during a night shift when the bridge was destroyed.

The controlled demolition will allow the Dali to be refloated and guided back to the Port of Baltimore. Once the ship is removed, maritime traffic can return to normal, providing relief to thousands of dock workers, truck drivers and small business owners who have seen their jobs affected by the closure.

The Dali’s 21-man crew will take shelter on board the ship while the explosives are detonated.

William Marks, a spokesman for the crew, said they would shelter “in a designated safe area” during the demolition. “All precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of everyone,” he said in an email.

In a video released this week, authorities said engineers are using precision cuts to control how the trusses break. They said the method allows for “surgical precision” and is one of the safest and most efficient ways to remove steel under high tension. According to the video, the steel structure will be “pushed away from the Dali” when the explosives cause it to tumble into the water.

Once demolished, hydraulic grabs will lift the resulting sections of steel onto ships.

“It is important to note that this controlled demolition is not like you would see in a movie,” the video says, noting that from a distance it will sound like fireworks or loud thunder and release clouds of smoke.

Officials previously said they hoped to remove the Dali by May 10 and reopen the port’s 15.2-meter main channel by the end of May.

The crew members of the Dali have not been allowed to leave the grounded ship since the disaster. Officials said they were busy maintaining the ship and assisting investigators. Of the crew members, twenty are from India and one from Sri Lanka.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI are investigating the bridge collapse.

The Danish shipping company Maersk chartered the Dali for a planned voyage from Baltimore to Sri Lanka, but the ship did not get far. The crew sent a distress call stating that they had lost power and had no control over the steering system. A few minutes later the ship rammed the bridge.

Officials have said the safety board investigation will focus on the ship’s electrical system.