Baltimore Key Bridge collapse updates: Second temporary channel opens as new underwater images released

Moment first vessel passes through temporary alternate channel in Baltimore

A second temporary channel has now been opened in the waters around the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, to get trade and movement of goods in and out of the port back up and running.

The first temporary shipping route opened on Monday, with Captain David O’Connell describing it as “an important first step along the road to reopening the port of Baltimore”.

Officials said the second route for deeper vessels launched on Tuesday, with a third channel for larger vessels planned for the coming days.

New underwater images were released by the US Navy on Tuesday, capturing the wreckage deep in the Patapsco River.

This comes as the Dali ship’s owners have denied all responsibility for the deadly crash and seek a cap of $43.7m for any lawsuit payouts.

In a court filing, the ship’s owner Grace Ocean Private Limited and operator Synergy Marine PTE denied fault or neglect over the collapse that killed six construction workers: “[It] was not due to any fault, neglect, or want of care on the part of [ship owner & operator], the Vessel, or any persons or entities for whose acts [ship owner & operator] may be responsible.”

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Remembering the victims: Miguel Luna

Miguel Luna was the first of six victims who went missing when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on Tuesday to be named.

Luna is one of the men who is now presumed dead, his wife María del Carmen Castellón told NBC sister station Telemundo 44 in Spanish.

After the bridge collapsed Ms Castellón said family members like her were able to get into the restricted zone while they desperately waited to hear news of their loved ones.

“They only tell us that we have to wait, that for now, they can’t give us information,” she said earlier in the day.

“[We feel] devastated, devastated because our heart is broken because we don’t know if they’ve rescued them yet. We’re just waiting to hear any news.”

One relative of Luna’s also told Sky News they were “distraught” as they waited to hear news, and that some family members were taken to a location in Baltimore by police, where they could be with families of the other missing people.

His loved ones reportedly said he is from El Salvador and has children.

Luna was also identified by the non-profit organisation Casa, which provides services around Baltimore and other areas to immigrant communities.

“Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, left at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening for work and since, has not come home. He is a husband, a father of three, and has called Maryland his home for over 19 years,” Casa wrote in a statement.

One of Luna’s children, Marvin Luna, told The Washington Post that he knew his father was working on the Key Bridge overnight but did not know it collapsed until one of his friends called him up and said, “The bridge is … gone.”

Marvin then called his father’s phone, but there was no reply.

(Supplied)

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 07:00

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Men on board the “Dali” ship remain stuck in Baltimore Harbour

The crew on board the “Dali” ship are receiving counseling from mental health specialists in the maritime industry, a representative for the Synergy Marine Group, the organisation managing the ship said.

“A dedicated team, including clinical psychologists, is currently offering round-the-clock support to the crew of the Dali, in the form of regular, individual and confidential counseling,” the representative said.

“We’ve also offered these resources to the families of the crew as part of a comprehensive response that is under constant review by the psychologists and the wider Synergy Team”.

The crew also has the ability to contact their families at any point, the spokesperson said.

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 06:00

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The latest from the Key Bridge Response

The tugboat Crystal Coast pushing a fuel barge, transited the temporary alternate channel created by the Key Bridge Response Unified Command, at 3 p.m., today and is the first vessel to use the channel since the bridge collapsed into the federal waterway on Tuesday.

The barge is used to supply jet fuel to the Department of Defense (DOD) and was transiting to Dover Air Force Base.

The Captain of the Port (COPT) established the temporary alternate channel near Sollers Point for commercially-essential vessels. The temporary channel is on the northeast side of the main ship channel in the vicinity of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. This action is part of a phased approach to opening the main federal channel.

This new temporary channel is marked with government-lighted aids to navigation. It will be limited for transit at the discretion of the COTP and during daylight hours only. This temporary channel has a controlling depth of 11 feet, a 264-foot horizontal clearance, and vertical clearance of 95 feet.

The Unified Command is working to establish a second, temporary alternate channel on the southwest side of the main channel. This second channel will allow for deeper draft vessels with an anticipated draft restriction of 15 to 16 feet.

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 05:00

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Remembering the victims: Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval

Another of the workers missing and presumed dead since the bridge collapse in Baltimore has been named as Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, according to Martin Suazo, his brother.

Martin, who lives in Honduras, told CNN that his family over in Baltimore called him to tell him that his brother was missing after the container ship crashed into the bridge.

He is originally from Azacualpa in Honduras and had been living in the United States for more than 18 years. He was married and had an 18-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter.

His brother told the outlet that Sandoval was an entrepreneur who had started his own maintenance company, venturing to the US “in search of a better life,” Martin told the outlet.

In an interview with Honduran newspaper La Prensa, Martin said in Spanish, “What we’re living is inexplicable. We wish it wasn’t real. We’re dismayed, especially the agony of not knowing when they’re going to find the body.”

“My brother was a generous man,” the brother told NPR.

He gave a lot back to his community in Honduras, Martin said. While working in the US, Sandoval sent money back to Honduras — enough to open up a hotel which provided jobs for his town, including his family. On top of this, Martin told the outlet that his brother helped those with disabilities, paid for neighbours’ medicine and doctor’s visits, and he even sponsored a youth soccer league.

One of eight siblings, the construction worker was described by another one of his brothers, Carlos Suazo Sandoval, as a “joyful person who had a vision.”

“We still have faith until this moment, God grant the miracle, it would be beautiful,” Carlos told CNN en Español on Wednesday. “We still have hope, I know that time is our worst enemy.”

The Suazo family are now focusing on having Sandoval’s body found, and if they do, they plan to repatriate the body to Honduras, Carlos said.

The Honduran Embassy told Martin Suazo that it would work with him to bring his brother’s body back to the country for funeral arrangements.

Both Sandoval and Luna were members of Casa, the organisation said in a statement: “Our hearts break knowing that Miguel and Maynor were part of the six essential workers who were on the bridge when it came tumbling down…They had a dream of a better future for themselves and their families and made the brave decision to travel to this country for a brighter future.”

“In a time when there is so much hatred against the immigrant community, we look to the story of Maynor and Miguel who built bridges to connect communities, not building walls to divide them. Today and always we honor them and their sacrifices,” the group wrote.

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 04:00

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Watch it: The efforts to reopen Baltimore Harbour

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 03:00

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Cruise passengers react to being rerouted after Baltimore’s bridge collapse

Carnival Legend cruise passengers have shared their reactions to the trip being rerouted, after the collapse of the Francis Key Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland.

Following a trip to the Bahamas, the cruise was set to end on 31 March, with the ship initially docking in Baltimore, Maryland. However, after the Key Bridge collapsed on 26 March, Carnival Legend’s ship was rerouted, before being docked in Norfolk, Virginia, on 31 March.

As noted on Carnival Legend’s official website, passengers were then provided with a complimentary bus service back to Baltimore. The cruise’s next seven day trip – set to begin on 31 March – will also leave from and return to Norfolk. The following trips will abide by this strategy, instead of being operated in Baltimore, and passengers have been made aware of the change.

“We appreciate the pledge made by President Biden today to dedicate all available resources to reopen Baltimore Harbor to marine traffic as soon as possible,” the president of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, said in a statement. “As those plans are finalised, we will update our future cruise guests on when we will return home to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we appreciate the quick response and support from officials in Norfolk.”

Amber Raiken has the full story…

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 02:00

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Maryland Governor urges people to donate to relief fund for families of the victims

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 01:00

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WATCH: White House vows to ‘get to the bottom’ of Baltimore Bridge collapse

White House vows to ‘get to the bottom’ of Baltimore Bridge collapse

Michelle Del Rey4 April 2024 00:11

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Governor Wes Moore said that federal and state partners are working with families of the victims

Mr Moore made the remarks during a news conference on Wednesday. He added that inclement weather has made it difficult for officials to remove the debris from the channel in order to retrieve the bodies of four of the victims that are trapped under the rubble.

“Current conditions make it unsafe for rescue divers to return to the water,” Mr Moore said. “We have to move fast. But we will not move careless. My directive is to complete this mission with no injuries and no casualties”.

Michelle Del Rey3 April 2024 22:02

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Coast Guard official says that responding crew will adjust efforts during inclement weather

“Our operations continue but will be adjusted as necessary in response to any adverse weather conditions,” said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Frank Schiano. “The Unified Command remains committed to re-opening the port while ensuring safety and environmental protection”.

On Wednesday, Baltimore weather was predicted to be stormy with lightening. Lightening in particular can make efforts to remove parts of the bridge more complicated and unsafe. In the afternoon, officials said the weather included thunderstorms and high winds.

Michelle Del Rey3 April 2024 21:40

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