Cargo ship released from Baltimore Bridge two months after fatal crash

The Dali being maneuvered out of the wreckage of the bridge. The ship had been grounded at the Francis Scot Key Bridge for weeks after it lost power and crashed

The container ship, that caused the fatal collapse of a bridge in Baltimore, has been refloated and moved back towards port on Monday.

The Dali had been grounded at the Francis Scot Key Bridge for weeks after it lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s supporting columns on March 26. Six construction workers who were working on the bridge at the time of its collapse were killed.

At around 6am EDT (11am GMT), the ship - guided by tugboats - appeared to start moving as crews began maneuvering it out of the wreckage. It started and stopped a few times before slowly backing away from the collapse site.

The ship’s 21 crew members have not been allowed to leave the vessel since the disaster but are expected to disembark when it reaches the dock.

Officials said the Dali would move at about 1 mph on the roughly 2.5-mile (4-kilometre) trip back to port.

It is expected remain in Baltimore for a several weeks and undergo temporary repairs before being moved to a shipyard.

Crews began preparing the ship to be refloated about 18 hours before it started moving.

The process included releasing anchors and pumping out over 1 million gallons of water that were keeping the ship grounded and stable during cleanup operations.

Crews conducted a controlled demolition on May 13 to break down the largest remaining span of the collapsed bridge, which was draped across the Dali’s bow.

Dive teams also completed inspections of the site to confirm there were no obstructions that would hinder the boat's return voyage.

The container ship that caused the collapse of Baltimore's bridge was refloated and has begun slowly moving back to port. Credit: AP

The Dali experienced two electrical blackouts within about 10 hours before leaving the Port of Baltimore on its way to Sri Lanka, according to a preliminary report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board.

It had two more blackouts as it was approaching the Key Bridge - those failures caused the ship to lose propulsion and veer off-course.

The FBI also launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances leading up to the crash.

The bodies of six construction workers - who were carrying out maintenance on the bridge at the time of the collision - have been recovered from the underwater wreckage in recent weeks.

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