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Bridge collapse live updates: Officials planning to open ‘temporary’ channel

In an aerial view, cargo ship Dali is seen after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(BALTIMORE) — A cargo ship crashed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning, causing a near-total collapse of the span and halting vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore.

Six construction workers are believed to have fallen from the collapsing bridge into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River below. The bodies of two of the victims have been recovered so far, while four remain missing and are presumed dead, officials said.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Apr 01, 6:19 AM
Mayor warns of heavy rain on Monday

Baltimore was expecting heavy rain on Monday morning, adding to potential delays for commuters already “expecting delays” because of the bridge collapse, the mayor said.

“Baltimore — we know we’re already expecting delays due to the ongoing situation with the Key Bridge Collapse,” Mayor Brandon M. Scott said on social media.

He added, “With the added complication of this expected weather, please allow for extra time during your commutes and be patient for your fellow Baltimoreans!”

The National Weather Service, which is publishing hour-by-hour forecasts for the area near the Key Bridge response, said Monday morning will bring winds gusts up to 15 mph and an about 92% chance of precipitation, which may taper off after about 9 a.m.

Mar 31, 9:23 PM
Capt. of the Port of Baltimore is preparing to open a ‘temporary alternate channel’ in the vicinity of the Key Bridge

The Captain of the Port of Baltimore (COTP) is preparing to establish a temporary alternate channel on the northeast side of the main channel in the vicinity of the Francis Scott Key Bridge for commercially essential vessels.

“This will mark an important first step along the road to reopening the port of Baltimore,” said Capt. David O’Connell, federal on-scene coordinator, Key Bridge Response 2024. “By opening this alternate route, we will support the flow of marine traffic into Baltimore.”

This action is part of a phased approach to opening the main channel. The temporary channel will be marked with government lighted aids to navigate and will have a controlling depth of 11 feet, a 264-foot horizontal clearance, and vertical clearance of 96 feet.

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. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

The COTP will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) via VHF-FM marine channel 16. Mariners are requested to monitor VHF channel 16 for the latest information.

Members of the public may not enter the safety zone unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or a designated representative.

Mar 31, 5:41 PM
2,600 Carnival cruise passengers rerouted from Baltimore arrive in Virginia

The first of multiple Carnival cruise ships rerouted from Baltimore due to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge arrived at a port in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday

About 2,600 guests aboard the Carnival Legend returned from a cruise to the Bahamas, getting off the ship in Norfolk. The passengers boarded 70 buses and were driven four hours back to Baltimore, where many left their cars parked.

“When we left Baltimore, we had to go under that bridge,” passenger Viktoriia Aldred told ABC affiliate station WVEC in Norfolk. “The bridge looked amazing and you go under the bridge and you’re like ‘wow.'”

Baltimore native Michael Lukoski told WVEC he heard the news of the bridge collapse while on the cruise to the Bahamas.

“When I got the news Tuesday morning … you couldn’t believe it,” said Lukoski. adding that when he first heard of the bridge collapse “it was like, ‘no way.'”

Mar 31, 4:52 PM
200-ton piece of collapsed Key Bridge removed

A 200-ton piece of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was removed Sunday from the vast debris field of twisted metal and concrete clogging entry to the Port of Baltimore, officials said.

Tons more wreckage as well as the crippled container ship Dali that crashed into the span and collapsed it still needs to be cleared, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore told ABC News Sunday.

“We’re talking about huge pieces,” Moore said of the debris crews are cutting up and preparing to remove from the waterway. “I mean, just sitting on the Dali, you’re looking at 3,000 or 4,000 tons of steel sitting on top of the ship.”

The operation to clean up the disaster site and reopen the channel began on Saturday and continued throughout Sunday, officials said.

Moore told ABC News a timeline hasn’t been set on when the channel will be reopened, echoing a statement from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Additionally, crews conducted a “grounding survey” on Sunday to “determine how hard the ground around the Dali is to inform the strategy for pulling it off,” officials told ABC News.

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