Videos Show Demolition Crews Cutting Sections of Baltimore’s Key Bridge

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Cleanup Efforts Underway After Bridge Collapse

Videos Show Demolition Crews Cutting Sections of Baltimore's Key Bridge
Videos Show Demolition Crews Cutting Sections of Baltimore’s Key Bridge

Baltimore – April 1, 2024

Videos and photos released by officials show teams in protective gear using an “exothermic cutting torch” on sections of the steel Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore as part of their massive cleanup efforts.

The aftermath of the collapse has left a freight nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower with the Key Bridge resting on top of it, and shipping containers ripped in half like papier-mâché. Navigating high winds and electric wires adds to the complexity of the salvage operation.

Rear Admiral Shannon Gil, speaking on behalf of the unified command, emphasized the unprecedented nature of the salvage operation. The unified command’s priority is to reopen the Port of Baltimore, broken down into three phases: reopening the shipping channel, removing the ship, and clearing debris from the waterway.

Progress is being made, with assessments ongoing both above and below the waterline of the bridge. Engineers, divers, and survey boats are working tirelessly despite challenging conditions to formulate plans for cutting and removing the wreckage.

Economic Impact of the Bridge Collapse

The Port of Baltimore, the ninth busiest in America, now stands at a standstill due to the container ship Dolly trapped under an estimated 2 to 3,000 tons of twisted metal. Authorities are racing to clear the debris spanning 700 ft to reopen this vital shipping channel.

Temporary measures, including rerouting Baltimore-bound container ships to other ports such as Virginia, New York, and Philadelphia, are being implemented. However, the economic impact is significant, with Baltimore handling more cars and farm equipment than any other port in America. The port generates over $5 billion in worker wages, $650 million in state and local tax revenue, and sustains over 50,000 jobs.

Relief Efforts for Workers

In response to the economic strain on port workers, Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill to establish a temporary financial relief program administered by the Department of Labor. This program aims to support workers affected by the closure of the port.

As the cleanup efforts continue, the resilience of Baltimore’s port community is evident, with hopes pinned on the swift reopening of this crucial economic artery.

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