Containers being removed from ship that caused collapse of Key bridge

Updated Apr 9, 2024
Containers being removed from Dali in Baltimore Harbor
Unified Command

Crews at the site of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore started removing containers from the massive container ship that struck one of the bridge's supports March 26 causing it to collapse.

The Unified Command, which includes all the agencies conducting operations at the Port of Baltimore, said the removal of cargo containers from the Dali is "part of the effort to gain access to the portion of the Key Bridge that lies atop the ship. The transfer of containers from the M/V (motor vessel) Dali will continue in the coming days, as weather permits."

At the same time, wreckage and debris removal continued at the site, including portions of Span 19 that were taken to Sparrows Point, Maryland.  While marine traffic is still limited, one vessel has transited through in the last 24 hours, totaling 32 since the creation of the temporary alternate channels.

“The Unified Command is concurrently progressing on its main lines of effort to remove enough debris to open the channel to larger commercial traffic, refloat the M/V Dali and continue recovery efforts for missing loved ones,” said Coast Guard Capt. David O’Connell, federal on-scene coordinator, Unified Command.  “Every day we are working to achieve these goals safely and efficiently.”    

The removal of these containers is a critical step required to safely move the M/V Dali and eventually fully re-open the Fort McHenry Channel. Removing containers allows for safe access to then remove the pieces of the bridge that lie across the ship’s bow, taking weight off the ship and ultimately allowing for the movement of the ship. 

The Unified Command recently announced it expects to have a temporary channel open by the end of this month, and opening of the main channel into the port open by the end of May.