Watch Crews Blow Up The Baltimore Bridge

Bang! And the bridge is gone. - Gif: WUSA9 via YouTube
Bang! And the bridge is gone. - Gif: WUSA9 via YouTube

More than six weeks after it struck and destroyed the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore, the Dali container ship has finally been freed after engineers blew up remnants of the bridge. Explosives experts from the U.S. Army were called in to explode a remaining bridge section, which had pinned the ship in place.

Local authorities announced last week that plans were in place to carry out a controlled demolition of the remaining bridge section. Blowing it up would allow engineers to refloat the Dali container ship and return it, and its crew, to port for inspections.

The trigger was finally pulled yesterday afternoon, reports the BBC, after the body of the sixth and final victim of the crash was finally recovered last week. As the site explains:


A loud explosion was heard shortly after 17:00 Eastern time (21:00 GMT), and pieces of the bridge fell into the water.

Officials said they used the controlled detonation to make precision cuts, hoping to free the Dali, which will return to the Port of Baltimore.

The port, which handles a variety of goods and is the busiest in the country for car shipments, was closed after the collapse, although some shipping has resumed through temporary channels. The US Army Corps of Engineers said it aims to restore full capacity by the end of May.

Footage of the explosion was streamed online by local news outlet WUSA9 News, which had a chopper on hand to watch the whole process unfold. In the footage, which you can see below, one section of the bridge remains propped on the bow of the Dali.

At around the 25-minute mark, the explosives go off and the remaining span is shrouded in a cloud of dust and smoke. Then, the span crumbles off the bow of the bridge and into the water below, where it joins an estimated 4,400 tons of debris that fell into the Patapsco River.

As the smoke from the explosion clears, you can see that the ship is now free from its bonds. As the footage continues, small ships pull up alongside the Dali so inspectors and construction workers canboard the massive container ship once again. Close up shots also show that while the superstructure of the bridge has been successfully removed, a section of the roadway remains perched on the bow of the ship.

With the majority of the bridge now removed from the Dali, workers are now hoping to remove the stricken ship over the next two days. Workers will then assess the condition of the shipping channel and hope to have it reopened to cargo soon.

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