Indian Transport & Logistics

Salvage operations continue in Baltimore as alternate channels open

Salvage operations continue in Baltimore as alternate channels open

Photos Credit: Unified Command; Dylan Burnell, USACE

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The Unified Command continued salvage operations at the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore.

"Progress included the removal of a 156-tonne piece of Span 19 outside of the navigational channel, which was hoisted and loaded onto a barge for future disposal," says an official release.

Traffic through the alternate channels, while still limited, is gradually increasing with 10 vessels transiting since April 5, 2024 the update added.

“The Unified Command quickly stood up and has been making progress every day since this incident took place,” says David O’Connell, Coast Guard Captain and federal on-scene coordinator, Unified Command. “Support from federal, state, local authorities, and the public has been indispensable. We are deeply grateful for these partnerships, which have been critical every step of the way.”

The Unified Command emphasises that safety remains their top priority throughout the operation, and all measures are being taken to ensure the safety of the divers and personnel involved in the assessment process.

"The current 2,000-yard safety zone around the Francis Scott Key Bridge remains in effect and is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment. Members of the public may not enter the safety zone unless authorised by the Captain of the Port (COTP) or designated representative. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or designated representative."

The Key Bridge Response 2024 Unified Command includes the:

*U.S. Coast Guard

*U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

*Maryland Department of the Environment

*Maryland Transportation Authority

*Maryland State Police; and

*Witt O’Brien’s representing Synergy Marine, the owners of MV DALI that crashed into the bridge.

All six victims identified
A third body has been recovered after six workers were killed during the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse in Baltimore last month, The Independent reported.

Maynor Yassir Suazo-Sandoval, 38, was identified as the deceased by officials on Friday.

The bridge collapsed at 1.30am on March 26 after a cargo ship collided with a supporting pier. Six men, all of whom were Latino immigrant workers, were on the bridge at the time, authorities said.

"The remains of Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera were recovered from a submerged vehicle in the immediate aftermath of the collapse. Divers are still searching for the remains of Miguel Luna, Jose Mynor Lopez and Carlos Hernández."

Owner/manager move to limit liabilities
Singapore-based Grace Ocean, which owns MV DALI that lost power before it slammed into the bridge, and Synergy Marine, also based in Singapore,the ship’s manager, filed a court petition last week seeking to limit their legal liability for the deadly disaster.

Their joint filing seeks to cap the companies’ liability at roughly $43.6 million, AP reported.

"It estimates that the vessel itself is valued at up to $90 million and was owed over $1.1 million in income from freight. The estimate also deducts two major expenses: at least $28 million in repair costs and at least $19.5 million in salvage costs."

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