Four Cargo Ships Depart Baltimore Port After Bridge Collapse Incident

The car carrier Carmen departs the Port of Baltimore, April 25, 2024. Port of Baltimore Photo
Four cargo ships finally left the port of Baltimore after a month of being stuck at the ruins of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. The incident, which blocked the canal and killed six bridge workers, is now under FBI investigation. The port's main channel is set to reopen by the end of May.
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Four cargo ships that had been stuck in the port of Baltimore for about a month due to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge were able to leave this week via a makeshift canal, according to shipping data. The incident, which occurred when a container ship lost power and struck the bridge, resulting in its collapse and the deaths of six bridge workers, has severely restricted the movement of large ships to and from the port, which is the busiest in the U.S. for car shipments. The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

The first ship to leave the port through the new canal was the Balsa 94, a general cargo ship headed to Saint John, Canada. Other ships that followed included the Samagrachta, Carmen, and Phatra, marking a significant moment in the reopening of the port’s main channel. The Dutch flag Frisian Oceana was among the vessels that entered the port before the canal was temporarily closed for vessel removal.

The reopening of the main channel is scheduled for the end of May, with some barges already having access to the port via a shallower channel that opened over the weekend. Despite the delays and challenges caused by the bridge collapse, residents reported seeing coal pile up at the terminals before new shipments were diverted. Efforts are being made to find a balance between supporting commercial activities and fully reopening the Fort McHenry Canal, with the U.S. Coast Guard working to coordinate response efforts.

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