Key Bridge collapse: Controlled demolition postponed

The Dali with containers stacked on it. The bow of the ship is coverage in the Key Bridge wreckage.

BALTIMORE — The controlled demolition of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has been delayed due to weather.

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Explosives will be detonated to break down part of the bridge which weighs up to 600 tons and measures about 500 feet, The Associated Press reported. The portion of the bridge is sitting on the deck of the ship Dali after the cargo vessel lost control and hit a bridge support on March 26.

It was initially slated to happen Saturday but was delayed to Sunday, which was delayed once again.

“We were all set to do the precision cuts … today,” Nick Ameen from the US Coast Guard said, according to CNN. “There’s several factors, environmental factors among them, that have unfortunately pushed that event until tomorrow.”

The demolition is now scheduled to occur on Monday at 5 p.m. ET, CNN reported. When it does happen, officials said the blasts will sound like fireworks and people will see puffs of smoke.

The 21-member crew of the Dali has remained on the ship since the crash and will stay there during the controlled demolition. Once the process is complete, the Dali will be refloated and taken back to the Port of Baltimore.

The demolition will also allow maritime traffic to start to return to normal, the AP reported. Officials had hoped to reopen the main channel by the end of the month.

It is also safer for the crew taking down the wreckage to have a controlled explosion than to cut the metal apart.

“It’s unsafe for the workers to be on or in the immediate vicinity of the bridge truss for those final cuts,” officials said in a news release.

Once the explosions are finished, hydraulic grabbers will remove the chunks and place them on barges.

So far they have moved 6,000 tons of steel and concrete from the wreckage. The collapsed portion of the bridge is estimated to weigh about 50,000 tons.

Six members of a road crew who were patching potholes on the bridge died in the incident. Two others were rescued.

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