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Workers remove 200-ton section of Baltimore Bridge that collapsed

Workers remove 200-ton section of Baltimore Bridge that collapsed

Officials said on Sunday that they had removed the first 200-ton section of the fallen bridge in Baltimore, as works began to remove the steel structure that an out-of-control large ship had wrecked from the harbour.

The upper section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge was cut away by demolition workers using blow torches. The bridge collapsed on Tuesday when the Dali cargo ship lost power and struck it, killing six people.

By slicing the bridge into smaller pieces and hauling them out, the authorities hope to assist in the recovery of all the victims' remains and restore the vital shipping lane, AFP reported.

"The first lift was made last night after the cutting of the top portion of one of the northern sections of the Key Bridge was completed," said US Coast Guard spokeswoman Kimberly Reaves in a statement.

"The piece removed last night was approximately 200 tons," she said, adding that it would be transferred to a barge and transported to a debris-holding location on land after being loaded with more parts.

Following the continuation of salvage operations on Sunday, Maryland Governor Wes Moore stated that "progress is beginning to happen despite the fact that it's an incredibly complicated situation."

He claimed that because of bad weather and underwater debris, divers could not help.

According to Moore, the salvage effort was using a massive crane called the Chesapeake 1,000, which has the capacity to lift 1,000 pounds.

Videos posted on Saturday by the Unified Command, which is the combined response team comprising the US Coast Guard, showed workers in cages slicing through an upper portion of the bridge with sparks flying.

Although Moore acknowledged that the recovery would be a "long road," "movement is happening."

Only two of the six bodies of road workers, who are all immigrants of Latino descent, have been found thus far due to the challenging circumstances.

One of the busiest ports in the country, Baltimore, has suspended shipping because of the extensive wreckage that has blocked the waterway.

Before reopening the channel, Moore stated on MSNBC on Sunday that finding the victims' bodies was his top priority.

"It's impacting the nation's economy. It's the largest port for new cars, heavy trucks, agricultural equipment. It's impacting people all over the country," he said.

Due to power issues, the ship drifted towards the bridge. The pilot issued a Mayday call, which allowed for the suspension of some traffic just prior to the impact at 1:30 am, following which the bridge fell in a matter of seconds.

There is no timeframe for clearing the harbour and reopening the port, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated on CBS's "Face the Nation" programme.

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