Explosives will be used to help free Dali from Baltimore Key Bridge

Congress Baltimore Bridge 032724 Maryland National Guard

Salvage crews are preparing to use explosives to separate the Dali container ship and the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore more than a month after it collapsed.

The precision explosive charges will be used to free the parts of the bridge that are stuck on top of containers on the ship, Unified Command Petty Officer Ronald Hodges said, reported by NBC News.

The ship’s crew, which has remained on board since the initial crash, will shelter in place when the explosives are detonated.

Hodge’s said the “unified command made that choice with their safety being their No. 1 priority.” The salvage crew members safety also remains a top priority.

When asked why the ship’s crew would stay on board, Gov. Wes Moore (D) said what they are doing are “best practices and historic best practices” for removing large amounts of steel.”

“We know that as soon as that operation, that precision cutting is done, then we also have the tools to be able to remove that steel from the water, to safely refloat the Dali, and to reopen up the federal channel,” he said, according to WBAL TV.

A spokesperson for the ship’s owners said safety is everyone’s top priority. Officials have communicated their plan to the company, and representatives will remain on site.

“Within the salvage community, some of the best experts in that field are in Baltimore working on this response,” spokesperson Darrell Wilson told NBC News.

Crews began the process of cutting and removing the first piece of wreckage from the bridge just days after the collapse.

The explosive process is expected to take multiple days and depends on the weather. They’re going to do everything they can to prevent further damage, Hodges said, per NBC News.

The announcement comes as salvage teams recovered the sixth and final missing body of a construction worker who was killed in the collapse. The body of José Mynor López, 37, was found by divers.

The Dali was able to issue a last-minute mayday call when it lost power on March 26, altering police to halt traffic just moments before the crash.

Eight construction workers repairing the road overnight were unable to get off the bridge in time. Two workers were rescued and survived, but the bodies of the other five victims have been recovered since the crash.

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