Watch: Baltimore bridge explodes in controlled demolition

Baltimore bridge demolition

A controlled explosion has brought down the largest remaining collapsed span of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Officials confirm the detonation, overseen by US Army explosives experts on Monday (13 May 2024), went as planned.

“It’s a lot like peeling back an onion,” General Scott Spellmon of the US Army Corps of Engineers told the media.

The explosion was designed to break up the bridge’s twisted metal sections into smaller pieces, making it easier for salvage crews to begin removing the wreckage with barges and cranes.

The four-lane Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore, in the US state of Maryland, on 26 March 2024, following a collision with Singapore-flagged container ship Dali. The vessel lost power and hit a bridge pylon, causing huge spans of the 2.57 km bridge to collapse. Six construction workers were killed in the collapse.

The explosion is a key part of the plan to remove the trapped ship and eventually re-open the channel to navigation.

The crash initially halted traffic at the Port of Baltimore, one of the most important ports on the US East Coast. Four temporary channels have since been opened, allowing some shipping to resume. Port access is on track to reach full capacity by the end of May.

The state of Maryland estimates that rebuilding the bridge will cost $1.7bn to $1.9bn, with a targeted re-opening in autumn 2028.

Now, the city of Baltimore is suing the ship’s owner. In a federal lawsuit, the city claims that Dali had “an incompetent crew” and set sail despite receiving warnings.

The city claims Dali was “clearly unseaworthy” and is accusing the owners and managers of negligence.

The ship’s parent company, Grace Ocean Private Ltd, and its operator, Synergy Marine Group, have asked a court to limit their liability. 

Insurance payouts for the collapse may be the largest in history, according to Lloyd’s of London chief executive John Neal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *