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Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Dali Ship Finally Re-Floated After Eight Weeks

The Dali Ship has been re-floated and authorities say the Baltimore bridge will take more than four years to reconstruct.

The Dali cargo ship, which collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore nearly eight weeks ago, was successfully re-floated on Monday. The operation to move the ship, conducted by tugboats was done under favourable environmental conditions, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The Dali crashed into the bridge on March 26, causing a catastrophic collapse that resulted in the deaths of six construction workers and sent approximately 4,000 tonnes of debris into the Patapsco river. The ship lost power before veering off course and striking the bridge, becoming trapped amid the wreckage. The incident is currently under investigation.

Standing at 948 feet (289 meters), the Dali remained at the crash site for weeks, covered in scrap metal from the bridge. A controlled demolition last week cleared some of the debris, facilitating the ship’s removal. The US Army Corps of Engineers estimated that it would take about 21 hours to move the Dali to a nearby terminal.

The 21 crew members aboard the ship, most of them Indian nationals, have faced significant challenges since the incident. The FBI has confiscated their phones, and they have had limited communication with the shore. Union officials reported earlier this month that morale among the crew has understandably dipped due to the prolonged and difficult circumstances.

Both the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the collapse. In the wake of the incident, the city of Baltimore has filed a lawsuit against the ship’s owners, Grace Ocean Private Limited, and its manager, Synergy Marine Private Limited, alleging gross negligence and recklessness. The companies have sought to limit their liability for the disaster through court action.

Authorities in Maryland estimate that the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge will cost up to $1.9 billion (£1.5 billion) and take more than four years to complete.

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