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Ship that caused deadly Baltimore Bridge collapse towed into port | transportation news

The operation marks an important step in recovery efforts at the Port of Baltimore, one of the busiest ports in the US.

Salvage teams have been refloated and started towing the cargo ship that crashed into a bridge in the US city of Baltimore in March, bringing down the span and killing six people.

Live television footage of the operation Monday morning showed a fleet of tugboats pushing and towing the MV Dali away from the remains of the shattered Francis Scott Key Bridge and toward a maritime terminal.

The bridge in the eastern state of Maryland was visible for the first time without the cargo ship, the US Army Corps of Engineers said in a social media post.

The Key Bridge Response Unified Command said the complex operation would last about 21 hours and involve the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of the Environment and other agencies.

The ship’s removal marks an important step in the Port of Baltimore’s recovery after the March 26 collision caused the bridge to collapse.

The collapse killed six highway workers and disrupted traffic through the busiest auto shipping port in the US. The Singaporean-flagged ship has been blocking the port since the crash.

On Monday, extensive damage to the ship’s bow included a large hole above the waterline on the starboard side.

Officials said the Dali would travel at a speed of about 1.6 km per hour (1 mile per hour) on the roughly 4 km (2.5 mile) journey back to port, a fraction of the speed at which it was traveling when it lost power and brought down the bridge.

The ship will spend several weeks undergoing temporary repairs at the same maritime terminal where it was before embarking on its ill-fated voyage, then move to a shipyard for more substantial repairs.

To refloat the Dali, crews released the anchors and pumped out more than 3.7 million liters of water that had kept the ship grounded and stable during the complex cleanup effort.

The freighter Dali is being towed into port from the Baltimore Bridge it crashed into in March
The cargo ship Dali moves from the Francis Scott Key Bridge to the Seagirt Marine Terminal in the Port of Baltimore on May 20, 2024 (Nathan Howard/Reuters)

Crews conducted a controlled demolition on May 13 to demolish the largest remaining span of the collapsed bridge, which hung over the bow of the Dali. Dive teams then confirmed the path was clear.

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

Maryland state officials estimate it will cost $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion to rebuild the bridge, and they expect it to be completed by fall 2028.