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Container ship removed 8 weeks after Francis Scott Key Bridge crash in Baltimore

The massive container ship that collided with Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge and collapsed in March was removed from the site and brought ashore Monday in a complex procedure.

The Unified Command, a collection of local and federal agencies that managed the operation, said the ship regained buoyancy around 6:40 a.m. ET and was slowly moved by tugboats to a port local.

The Dali crashed with the bridge in the early hours of March 26, causing a catastrophic structural failure that resulted in the deaths of six construction workers and disrupted shipping on the East Coast. He has been in the Patapsco River for the past eight weeks.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Sunday the ship would be removed “within a few days.”

“The refloating and transit sequence is deliberately designed to ensure that all response personnel around the M/V Dali maintain control of the vessel, from refloating, transit and berthing at a local marine terminal,” he said. the command said in a press release on Sunday.

Engineers released some of the anchors and mooring lines that were still attached to it, and removed some or all of the 1.25 million gallons of water that had been pumped onto the ship to compensate for the weight removed by cutting out of precision on May 13.

Once freed and placed in open water, tugboats escorted the Dali 2 1/2 miles to a local port, all at a speed of approximately 1 mph.

The route was checked and confirmed to be clear by a survey vessel earlier this week, the unified command said.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board last week found that the nearly 1,000-foot-long Dali, which was sailing to Sri Lanka under the Singaporean flag, lost power twice in three minutes before the accident .

The Dali’s 22 crew members were unhurt in the accident but have had to remain on board since the accident, including during a controlled explosion.

American regulations stipulate that every ship must have a minimum staff at all times.

Government officials, investigators and union personnel were on board to view the crew. The Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union said in a statement earlier this month that its officials had visited the seafarers and found that they were expressing “unfounded fear of personal criminal liability” and emotional distress.

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the accident.

Baltimore is among the top 20 U.S. ports, and disruptions caused by the crash have affected supply chains across the East Coast.

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