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baltimore bridge hit with demolition charges to free ship trapped in wreckage

Baltimore bridge hit with demolition charges to free ship trapped in wreckage

The ship that hit Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was freed on Monday after precision explosive charges targeted parts of the bridge where the ship was stuck. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the blasts went “according to plan.” A series of charges emitted light flames and a small puff of smoke as they broke the bonds that held the bridge together. “Over the last seven weeks, we’ve moved a total of 365 commercial vessels through the alternate channels that have been established,” Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said on Monday. The demolition process began once the body of the sixth victim of the ship crash was recovered last week. Weekend weather delays caused the process to move into Monday. Gov. Wes Moore (D-MD) announced that a 50-foot-deep and 700-foot-wide channel was expected to be available to ships by the end of May as part of efforts to reopen the Port of Baltimore swiftly. Full removal of the Dali could take an additional two days, but the time frame remains on track to open the port by the end of the month. The boat will likely be floated and returned to the Port of Baltimore once it is fully freed. Twenty-one crew members remain on board the Dali, where they have been since the collision. “Even though they are not sailing, they are still performing their normal crew duties,” Darrel Wilson, a spokesman for Synergy Marine Group, which manages the Dali, said. “This is still a large, complicated piece of equipment, and there is a lot they have to look after.” The crew’s phones were taken by the FBI as part of the investigation into the collision, which has caused some members to feel disconnected from the outside world, Josh Messick, executive director of the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Center, told CNN. “They are a little anxious because of the phone situation. We are trying to get their cellphones back to them,” Messick said. “It’s not just a phone. They can’t access their online banking, their finances, their contacts. They can’t look at photos of their loved ones before they go to sleep at night. It’s a lot more than just a phone.”

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