Salvage crews carefully start removing first pieces from collapsed Baltimore bridge

Teams of engineers are working Saturday on the intricate process of cutting and lifting the first section of twisted steel from the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland.

The bridge crumpled into the Patapsco River on Tuesday after a massive cargo ship crashed into one of its main supports.

Sparks could be seen flying from a section of bent and crumpled steel Saturday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that work has started to remove a section of the toppled structure.

Crews are carefully measuring and cutting the steel from the broken bridge before attaching straps so it can be lifted onto a barge and floated away, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath said Saturday.

Seven floating cranes — including a massive one capable of lifting 1,000 tons — 10 tugboats, nine barges, eight salvage vessels and five Coast Guard boats are on site in the water southeast of Baltimore.

Each movement affects what happens next and ultimately how long it will take to remove all the debris and reopen the ship channel and the blocked Port of Baltimore, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

"I cannot stress enough how important today and the first movement of this bridge and of the wreckage is. This is going to be a remarkably complicated process," Moore said.

“I wouldn’t want to be in that water. It’s got to be cold. It’s a tough job,” said Lichtenberg from a spot on the river called Sparrows Point.


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