Weather causes crews to delay using explosives to demolish part of Baltimore’s Key Bridge to help free a trapped cargo ship

A plan to use small explosives on Saturday to break apart a massive chunk of a Baltimore bridge that collapsed on a cargo ship six weeks ago has been delayed due to poor weather conditions.

US Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Ronald Hodges told CNN on Friday the controlled demolition will not happen on Saturday due to the adverse weather forecast. The Key Bridge Response Unified Command will determine if there’s an opportunity for the demolition to take place Sunday, Hodges said.

The plan was set to happen days after the sixth and final body was recovered from the waters where the 213-million-pound Dali cargo ship veered off course on March 26 and plowed into a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The crash killed six construction workers and destroyed a key thoroughfare, crippling the economy at the Port of Baltimore.

The discovery of the final construction worker lost in the tragedy is allowing crews to proceed with the next step in removing the massive debris and freeing the nearly 1,000-foot vessel.

“The safest and swiftest method to remove the bridge piece from on top of the M/V Dali is by precision cuts made with small charges,” according to Unified Command, which includes state and federal agencies responding to the disaster.

“This is an industry-standard tool in controlled demolition that will break the span into smaller pieces, which will allow the work of refloating the vessel and removing it from the federal channel.”

If the explosives are used this weekend, the ship could be refloated and returned to the Port of Baltimore as soon as early next week, The Baltimore Sun and CNN affiliate WBAL reported.

While the arduous work to clear the debris continues, several investigations are underway to find what caused the disaster and who is responsible.

The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure plans to hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss an ongoing investigation into the catastrophe.

The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, along with officials from the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Transportation, are expected to testify.

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