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Breaking Waves: Ship that Struck Baltimore's Key Bridge Finally Departs Crash Site | National News

Breaking Waves: Ship that Struck Baltimore's Key Bridge Finally Departs Crash Site | National News

After nearly two months stranded in the Patapsco River, the colossal cargo ship responsible for the collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge has finally been refloated and escorted back to port. The vessel, known as the Dali, had been entangled in debris from the bridge since the accident occurred. Throughout its ordeal, the crew remained onboard, but they were finally able to disembark as the ship returned to port on Monday.

Crews worked tirelessly to pump out over 1 million gallons of water that had kept the ship grounded, allowing it to break free from the crash site. Tugboats guided the Dali back to port, though its progress was slow due to the damage sustained during the collision. The ship's bow bore the brunt of the impact, adorned with mangled shipping containers and twisted steel and concrete.

As the Dali made its triumphant return, a conspicuous gash marked its starboard side above the waterline. Partial repairs are scheduled at the Port of Baltimore before the vessel undergoes more extensive restoration at a shipyard.

The incident, which occurred in the early hours of March 26, claimed the lives of six construction workers, all Latino immigrants, who were tragically working on bridge repairs at the time. Investigations revealed that the Dali had suffered two electrical blackouts prior to the collision, prompting a switch to a dormant electrical system, which ultimately failed.

Efforts to clear the wreckage, including a controlled demolition on May 13 to remove the largest remaining span of the bridge, have been ongoing. The departure of the Dali marks a significant milestone in the cleanup process, albeit one shadowed by the somber memory of lives lost in the tragedy.

As the Dali navigates its path to recovery, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the delicate balance between maritime commerce and infrastructure safety. The tragic loss of life underscores the importance of robust safety protocols and vigilant maintenance practices in the shipping industry.

While the physical wreckage may be cleared from the river, the emotional scars left by the accident will linger in the community for years to come. It is imperative that lessons are learned from this devastating event to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

As the investigation into the incident continues, there is hope that comprehensive reforms and improved regulations will emerge to safeguard both maritime traffic and the workers who maintain our vital infrastructure. Only through collective efforts can we strive to ensure the safety and integrity of our waterways and bridges, preserving both lives and livelihoods for generations to come.