May 28, 2024


The enormous Dali container ship has been stuck in Baltimore since it hit and destroyed the Francis Scott Key bridge way back in March. The ship lost power and careered into one of the supports for the bridge, bringing it crashing down and killing six workers on the bridge. Now, engineers are planning to blow up the remnants of the bridge so they can finally re-float the ship and return it to port.

Salvage workers at the site of the collapsed bridge are planning to carry out a controlled explosion of sections of the bridge, reports CBS News. If they successfully destroy the section of the bridge that is resting on the bow of the ship, they will be able to refloat the vessel and return it to port. As the site explains:

Politely called “precision cutting,” the controlled demolition will use small charges to split the portion of the collapsed bridge on the ship’s bow into smaller, more manageable sections.

“The operation requires careful handling of roadbed material, crushed containers, and bridge fragments currently resting on the vessel,” officials said Monday.

In order to get the operation under way, workers called in explosives experts from the U.S. Army to help carry out the work. Members of the Corps of Engineers will set the charges at specific intervals along the collapsed section of bridge in order to break it down in the “safest and swiftest” way possible, reports CBS.

A photo of the rear of the Dali container ship that's stuck in Baltimore.

The Dali has been stuck in Baltimore for more than six weeks.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

The work will see engineers remove thousands of tons of steel and roadway from the bow of the Dali ship. And this is no simple task, so nearby residents are being urged to stay away from the work zone in the coming days. In fact, a 2,000 foot safety zone has been put in place and anyone within this area must wear hearing protection when the explosions start going off. As CBS explains:

Most of the Safety Zone consists of the Patapsco River, but portion of Hawkins Point falls in its range. Unified Command said “focused efforts” will be made to prepare those in the area for the event.

That effort will include a mobile notification in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Emergency Management.

The exact timing of the explosions remains under wraps, as it’s also reliant on the perfect conditions on the remnants of the bridge. However, officials told the news outlet that they hoped to have the bridge removed and the ship refloated by the end of this week.

If that happens, it will mark almost seven weeks since the Dali first struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge back on March 26.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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