Second Channel Opens at Key Bridge Collapse Site

During a press conference on Tuesday, Maryland Governor Wes Moore shed light on a significant complication hindering recovery and cleanup operations at the site of the catastrophic Key Bridge collapse – the presence of a second channel running through the Patapsco River. This development has virtually paralyzed activities at the critical Port of Baltimore, which has remained largely shut down for a week since a crippled cargo ship collided with the bridge, causing it to crumble and claiming the lives of six construction workers.

Governor Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott provided updates on the ongoing efforts, with Scott expressing his condolences, stating, “Of course, first and foremost, again, thoughts and prayers of all of Baltimore will now and forever be with those who we lost. I don’t want us to lose sight of the fact that we still have four Marylanders missing below the water.”

Rough weather conditions, including thunderstorms over the past two days, have rendered it unsafe for divers to continue their search for the remaining four victims believed to be trapped underwater amidst the wreckage. Governor Moore affirmed the commitment to recovering the bodies while prioritizing safety, saying, “We promised those families (of the victims) that we would do everything in our power to bring them closure. But also, my directive is to complete this mission with no injuries and no casualties.”

Regarding cleanup efforts, Moore revealed that crew members are working around the clock to remove twisted steel debris from the water. Additionally, two temporary channels have been opened to allow the passage of “commercially essential vessels,” as designated by officials. However, Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath of the U.S. Coast Guard emphasized that “Priority number one still remains to reopen the deep draft channel,” and efforts are ongoing to remove the cargo ship, named Dali, from the channel.

Despite the progress, Governor Moore cautioned that the road to restoring the Port of Baltimore’s full operational capacity remains arduous, stating, “But I do want to be clear, we are still a long way from being able to get the size and the cadence of the commercial traffic back to where it was before the collapse.”

In a controversial development, the cargo ship’s owner is attempting to limit its liability, arguing that they should not be held responsible for any damages. If found liable, they have requested a federal judge to cap the damages at no more than the value of the ship, which they claim is just over $43 million.

As the complex recovery and cleanup operations continue, Governor Moore reiterated the state’s unwavering mission to address the far-reaching consequences of this infrastructural tragedy while prioritizing the safety of all personnel involved.