Crews at Site of Bridge Collapse Work on Removing First Piece of Debris

The governor of Maryland said that the search for missing victims would resume when the conditions for divers improve.

Crews in Baltimore on Saturday were working on pulling the first piece of wreckage out of the water after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a tangible sign of progress in the daunting effort to reopen the busy waterway.

Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath of the U.S. Coast Guard said at a news conference that his crew was aiming to lift the first segment of the bridge “just north of that deep draft shipping channel.” He added, “Much like when you run a marathon, you’ve got to take the first few steps.”

The bridge was a critical transportation link to one of the largest ports in the United States, and the collapse is costing the region and the country millions of dollars the longer it is out of operation. More than 8,000 workers on the docks have been directly affected, Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland said.

Mr. Moore said cutting up and removing the north sections of the bridge “will eventually allow us to open up a temporary restricted channel that will help us to get more vessels in the water around the site of the collapse.”

Officials overseeing the cleanup added on Saturday that salvage teams will use gas-powered cutters to systematically separate sections of the steel bridge, which will then be taken to a disposal site.

The work was occurring less than a week after a giant container ship known as the Dali suffered a complete blackout and struck the bridge, killing six construction workers and bringing the bridge down into the Patapsco River.

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