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Dali set to be refloated Monday, nearly 8 weeks after the Key Bridge collapse. Here's what to know

Unified Command waits for dive safety survey results before removing Dali
Unified Command waits for dive safety survey results before removing Dali 03:00

BALTIMORE -- Dali, the cargo ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore before its collapse, is set to be refloated Monday after eight weeks of salvage efforts requiring the use of giant floating cranes and explosives

The milestone comes nearly eight weeks since the disaster killed six construction workers, crippled the Port of Baltimore and cut off I-695.   

Unified Command said Saturday the ship would be refloated from its location in the Patapsco River, where it has been stuck under tons of wreckage, to a local marine terminal. 

"The refloat and transit sequence is deliberately designed to ensure all response personnel around the M/V Dali maintain control of the vessel, from refloat, transit to, and berthing at a local marine terminal," Unified Command said. 

The entire refloat and transit operation is predicted to take 21 hours or longer.  

When will the Dali be refloated? 

The plan is to refloat the 984-foot-long ship early Monday morning at high tide at 5:24 a.m., Unified Command said. 

Crews aim to have the vessel prepared at 2 a.m., which will allow the Dali to catch the peak high tide for a controlled transit.  

Preparation started midday Sunday with the release of anchors, de-ballasting the ship, and detailed inspections for any obstructions. 

Up to five tugboats will escort the Dali 2.5 miles to a local terminal after it is refloated. 

On track to reopen access to the Port of Baltimore 

The refloating is a massive milestone in the delicate, complex salvage effort led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reopen full access to the Port of Baltimore. 

Since the collapse, four temporary channels have opened to allow ships, including some commercial vessels.

An even deeper channel is expected to open after the Dali is unstuck and removed from the channel.   

Unified Command plans to reopen the entire channel by the end of May. A giant hydraulic claw will make that possible by removing pieces of the bridge embedded in the Patapsco River bed. 

Investigations ongoing

The Dali lost electrical power hours before leaving the Port of Baltimore and crashing into the Key Bridge, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash.

The preliminary report provided a synopsis of factual information collected during the on-scene phase of the investigation. A final NTSB report, which will include conclusions and safety recommendations, should come in one or two years. 

You can read the full NTSB report here.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating what led up to the collapse. The agency raided the ship in April.

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