First Cargo Ship Passes via New Canal Since Baltimore Bridge Collapse

A cargo ship went through a new deep-water channel in Baltimore on Thursday. This was the first ship to use the new channel since the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed last month. The bridge collapse caused most of the traffic in the Port of Baltimore to stop.

The ship named Balsa 94, which is a type of cargo ship, left the port on Thursday morning. It was flying the flag of Panama. The ship used a newly constructed 35-foot channel to exit the port. This information was reported by The Associated Press. The destination of the ship is St. John, Canada, and it is predicted to reach there on Monday.

It happened about four weeks after a cargo ship named Dali, which was 984 feet long, crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. This caused the bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River.

The ship made an urgent call for help just before the crash, which allowed the police to stop traffic in time. However, eight people who were working on the bridge couldn’t escape and were thrown into the water. Two workers were saved and survived, and the bodies of four victims have been found. Two additional workers are still missing and believed to have died.

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The collapse caused all maritime traffic to stop, and crews are still working on the huge cleanup process. The Balsa is one of five ships that were previously unable to leave the port but can now do so using the new temporary channel.

A new channel, measuring 35 feet, was opened on Thursday morning. This is the fourth temporary channel that has been created to avoid the damage. The other channels have mostly been used by boats that are helping with the cleanup. The most recent temporary channel will stay open until either Monday or Tuesday of next week, according to officials from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The city of Baltimore recently submitted court documents stating that the owner and operator of the Dali should not be exempt from responsibility. The city said that the ship was not safe to sail when it left the Baltimore port last month. They also accused Grace Ocean Private, the owner of the ship, and Synergy Marine Group, the company operating the ship, of being extremely careless and possibly criminally negligent.

“According to the attorneys, cargo ships have been making thousands of trips every year under the Key Bridge for over four decades without any problems.” “There was nothing on March 26, 2024, that should have caused any changes.”

After the collapse, Grace Ocean and Synergy requested a federal court to restrict their legal responsibility to approximately $43.6 million. The city is saying that the liability cannot be limited right now without a trial. They want to show the companies’ “failures” in court. The Hill contacted the city of Baltimore to ask for more information.

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