Explosives make precision cuts in Key Bridge demolition, but portion of truss remains on bow of Dali

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Crews detonated explosives to demolish the remaining Key Bridge truss on the bow of the Dali cargo ship, but the precision cuts didn’t remove it all, sister station WBAL11 reports.On Tuesdat, sister station WBAL broke the news that Unified Command would use explosives to remove the steel beams off the ship, and that the 22 crew members would remain on board below deck in the back of the ship during the detonation.Officials said several safety protocols were in place, but the crew members needed to stay on board to keep the ship operational. The controlled demolition just after 5 p.m. Monday was intended to break down the span that’s estimated to be about 500 feet long, weighing up to 600 tons. That piece fell on the bow of the Dali, which has been stuck ever since.Crews made small cuts in the steel in which small explosive charges were placed to break the bridge into smaller pieces. Officials said the demolition would cause the pieces of the bridge to fall away into the water.Simulation video released by Unified Command last week showed all of the bridge truss sliding off the Dali after the explosion — but that’s not what happened Monday evening, as a sizable chunk of the steel truss remained on the bow of the Dali.WBAL received information from a source about why that was, and Unified Command confirmed that no explosives were placed on the portion of the bridge that didn’t fall because there were flammable materials in damaged shipping containers on the deck nearby.So, Unified Command didn’t want to risk trying to get that part of the bridge off the ship with hazardous materials so close by.Instead, they’re planning to remove that portion of the steel truss once the ship is docked at Seagirt Marine Terminal in the coming days. Besides this one concern, 11 News Investigates was told the precision demolition went according to plan.After the demolition, surveys will be taken with the goal to re-float the Dali two days after at high tide.”They’re going to have to lift it with the grabber or they’ll be removing it after cutting it down some more, but we’re continuing the salvage operations in the same methodical and disciplined safe way we’ve been removing wreckage all along,” Col. Estee Pinchasin, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, said Monday morning.The governor and the Key Bridge Response Unified Command team said the timeline to reopen the permanent channel by the end of May remains on schedule.”After we do the precision cutting, we will then go back and resurvey the channel as well as survey around the Dali to make sure there are no obstructions that come from that precision cutting that would interfere with traffic. Then, we will reopen the limited-access channel to traffic at that particular time,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said at Monday morning’s news conference.About two days after the detonation, Unified Command plans to move the Dali out of the channel to a dock at the port so they can continue to clear the underwater wreckage.The detonation was set for Sunday but was postponed to Monday due to weather conditions producing lightning within 10 miles of the Dali. Safety precautions and the comfort level of the people performing the vessel salvage operations also played a factor in the postponement.”We were all set to do the precision cuts evolution (Sunday). Unfortunately, there’s several environmental factors among them that have unfortunately pushed them until (Monday),” Nick Ameen, the public information officer with the Key Bridge Response Unified Command, told 11 News on Sunday.’Team Maryland’ vows to seek 100% federal funding to replace bridgeOnce the Dali is re-floated and the remnants of the bridge are demolished, there will be a heightened focus on rebuilding the bridge. Maryland’s congressional delegation is fighting for the federal government to fully fund the project.U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, shared at Monday’s news conference that as it currently stands, the federal government would pay 90%, which would leave Maryland on the hook for the remaining 10%. He said he is confident that the number will soon change.”But at every one of these catastrophic events that have occurred in our country, we’ve always provided 100% federal funds, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to get that legislation passed,” Cardin said. “Sen. (Chris) Van Hollen and I have introduced that bill in the Senate. (Rep. Kweisi) Mfume and other members have introduced it in the House, and we’re optimistic to get that bill done.”Federal support would not mark the end of the funding. Insurance companies believe this could be the largest claim ever in maritime history. Cardin said the government is committed to reimbursing taxpayers through insurance and liability claims.Baltimore native and House Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi spoke at Monday morning’s news conference, at which she applauded the work done to reach this point. Like the response to Hurricane Katrina, Pelosi said wants to hear from locals about what is needed from the federal government.”Through these challenges and difficulties, we proved through the night that our flag was still there and as we pledge with liberty and justice for all,” Pelosi said.Pelosi said she considers Maryland’s handling of the collapse to be a model for the nation.

Crews detonated explosives to demolish the remaining Key Bridge truss on the bow of the Dali cargo ship, but the precision cuts didn’t remove it all, sister station WBAL11 reports.

On Tuesdat, sister station WBAL broke the news that Unified Command would use explosives to remove the steel beams off the ship, and that the 22 crew members would remain on board below deck in the back of the ship during the detonation.

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Officials said several safety protocols were in place, but the crew members needed to stay on board to keep the ship operational.

The controlled demolition just after 5 p.m. Monday was intended to break down the span that’s estimated to be about 500 feet long, weighing up to 600 tons. That piece fell on the bow of the Dali, which has been stuck ever since.

Crews made small cuts in the steel in which small explosive charges were placed to break the bridge into smaller pieces. Officials said the demolition would cause the pieces of the bridge to fall away into the water.

Simulation video released by Unified Command last week showed all of the bridge truss sliding off the Dali after the explosion — but that’s not what happened Monday evening, as a sizable chunk of the steel truss remained on the bow of the Dali.

WBAL received information from a source about why that was, and Unified Command confirmed that no explosives were placed on the portion of the bridge that didn’t fall because there were flammable materials in damaged shipping containers on the deck nearby.

So, Unified Command didn’t want to risk trying to get that part of the bridge off the ship with hazardous materials so close by.

Instead, they’re planning to remove that portion of the steel truss once the ship is docked at Seagirt Marine Terminal in the coming days. Besides this one concern, 11 News Investigates was told the precision demolition went according to plan.

After the demolition, surveys will be taken with the goal to re-float the Dali two days after at high tide.

“They’re going to have to lift it with the grabber or they’ll be removing it after cutting it down some more, but we’re continuing the salvage operations in the same methodical and disciplined safe way we’ve been removing wreckage all along,” Col. Estee Pinchasin, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, said Monday morning.

The governor and the Key Bridge Response Unified Command team said the timeline to reopen the permanent channel by the end of May remains on schedule.

“After we do the precision cutting, we will then go back and resurvey the channel as well as survey around the Dali to make sure there are no obstructions that come from that precision cutting that would interfere with traffic. Then, we will reopen the limited-access channel to traffic at that particular time,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said at Monday morning’s news conference.

About two days after the detonation, Unified Command plans to move the Dali out of the channel to a dock at the port so they can continue to clear the underwater wreckage.

The detonation was set for Sunday but was postponed to Monday due to weather conditions producing lightning within 10 miles of the Dali. Safety precautions and the comfort level of the people performing the vessel salvage operations also played a factor in the postponement.

“We were all set to do the precision cuts evolution (Sunday). Unfortunately, there’s several environmental factors among them that have unfortunately pushed them until (Monday),” Nick Ameen, the public information officer with the Key Bridge Response Unified Command, told 11 News on Sunday.

‘Team Maryland’ vows to seek 100% federal funding to replace bridge

Once the Dali is re-floated and the remnants of the bridge are demolished, there will be a heightened focus on rebuilding the bridge. Maryland’s congressional delegation is fighting for the federal government to fully fund the project.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, shared at Monday’s news conference that as it currently stands, the federal government would pay 90%, which would leave Maryland on the hook for the remaining 10%. He said he is confident that the number will soon change.

“But at every one of these catastrophic events that have occurred in our country, we’ve always provided 100% federal funds, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to get that legislation passed,” Cardin said. “Sen. (Chris) Van Hollen and I have introduced that bill in the Senate. (Rep. Kweisi) Mfume and other members have introduced it in the House, and we’re optimistic to get that bill done.”

Federal support would not mark the end of the funding. Insurance companies believe this could be the largest claim ever in maritime history. Cardin said the government is committed to reimbursing taxpayers through insurance and liability claims.

Baltimore native and House Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi spoke at Monday morning’s news conference, at which she applauded the work done to reach this point. Like the response to Hurricane Katrina, Pelosi said wants to hear from locals about what is needed from the federal government.

“Through these challenges and difficulties, we proved through the night that our flag was still there and as we pledge with liberty and justice for all,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi said she considers Maryland’s handling of the collapse to be a model for the nation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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