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Crashed ship that took down Baltimore bridge refloated, towed from channel

"It took the grit of workers and officials coming together to get this done," Biden said. "That's Baltimore Strong."

A view of the cargo ship 'Dali' as crews clear it from the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. May 20, 2024. / REUTERS/Nathan Howard

Recovery teams refloated a huge cargo vessel impeding shipping in the Port of Baltimore early on Monday and pulled it free of the main channel, two months after the boat crashed into the Francis Scott Key bridge and caused the span to collapse. 

Tugboats led the Dali to a local marine terminal after a successful effort to make the container ship buoyant at about 6:40 a.m. EDT (1040 GMT), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on social media platform X. 

The removal of the Dali marked a significant step in the  Port of Baltimore's recovery from the boat's March 26 collision with one of the bridge's support pillars. The bridge's collapse killed six road workers and hindered traffic through the busiest port for car shipments in the U.S.

President Joe Biden praised the team that freed the ship from its weeks-long imprisonment under the bridge's wreckage in a post on X on Monday.

"It took the grit of workers and officials coming together to get this done," Biden said. "That's Baltimore Strong."

Maryland Governor Wes Moore told NBC on Sunday that workers were on track to restore full access to the port this month. Since the bridge collapse, authorities have opened four temporary channels to allow some shipping to resume.

Crews set off controlled explosions last week to allow them to remove a portion of the fallen bridge from the bow of the Dali, which had been pinning the boat in place. That allowed salvage crews to haul away the twisted metal wreckage using cranes and barges, and free the boat for refloating and removal, the Corps of Engineers said.    

Federal investigators said in a preliminary report last week that the Dali had lost electrical power several times before crashing into the bridge as it was leaving the port.     Maryland state officials estimate it will cost $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion to rebuild the bridge and anticipates completion by fall 2028.

 (Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Frank McGurty and Jonathan Oatis)

A view of the cargo ship 'Dali' as crews clear it from the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. May 20, 2024. / REUTERS/Nathan Howard
A view of the cargo ship 'Dali' as crews clear it from the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. May 20, 2024. / REUTERS/Nathan Howard

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