Baltimore bridge collapse: Second temporary channel opened, rough weather slows debris removal

A second temporary channel was opened Tuesday at the site where a cargo ship struck and took down the Francis Scott Key Bridge last week in Baltimore, Maryland, officials said.

The new channel is 14 feet in depth. On Monday, two ships, a fuel barge and a scrap barge, passed through another temporary channel on the north side of the bridge that is 11 feet in depth.

The center of the bridge is 50 feet deep and large cargo ships carrying vehicles typically require depths of at least 35 feet, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said during a news briefing. 

MARYLAND GOVERNOR SAYS CONDITIONS ARE ‘UNSAFE’ FOR RESCUE DIVERS AFTER BRIDGE COLLAPSE 

A section of the Dali, a massive container ship from Singapore, is seen as the vessel still sits amid the wreckage and collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the Baltimore, Md., port on Monday. Crews are working to remove the bridge from the waters of the Patapsco River. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner via AP)

The rough weather has made it difficult to remove kept sections of the bridge from the waters of the Patapsco River. Crews tried to remove one section on Monday, but cranes couldn’t operate because of lightning in the area, which slowed down recovery operations. 

“We just can’t do that lift in lightning, and some of the conditions are making that lift challenging from a safety perspective,” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS DIVIDED AFTER BIDEN VOWS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL FOOT THE BILL FOR KEY BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION 

Collapsed Baltimore bridge

A section of the damaged and collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, in the Baltimore, Md., port. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner via AP)

Crews were setting up buoys in the rain Tuesday morning to ensure vessels could navigate the waterways, Moore said. 

The Dali cargo ship struck the bridge on March 26, causing the bridge to collapse within seconds. Six construction workers working on the bridge were killed. 

As of Tuesday, only two bodies had been recovered. 

Baltimore bridge collapse aftermath

Six construction workers are presumed dead following the Baltimore bridge collapse in Maryland. (AP/Steve Helber)

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The state will establish a scholarship for the families of transportation workers who die on the job, Moore announced Tuesday. 

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