A massive crane waits to clear the complex, long Baltimore Bridge collapse

A floating crane arrived at the scene, which officials said was the largest on the East Coast The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed In Baltimore on Friday, part of a large flotilla gathered to remove the debris that has crippled one of the nation's largest ports and spread economic pain.

The Chesapeake 1000, which can lift 1,000 tons, will play a special role in the cleanup from the disaster, but Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said Friday that 10 cranes, 10 tugs, nine barges, eight rescue vessels and five Coast Guard boats will arrive in the next few days.

But even as officials scrambled to restore access to the Port of Baltimore, which creates thousands of jobs and handles tens of billions of dollars worth of cargo each year, the Chesapeake 1000 sat idle Friday, underscoring the complexity, length and risk of the process.

Officials said they could not move forward with the debris removal until a careful assessment of the scene, where massive trusses were twisted in 50-feet of water and over a large area, was completed. Main bridge The cargo ship that struck Tuesday was dangerously covered across the bow.

The assessment included divers below the surface of the Patapsco River, survey boats and an FBI helicopter buzzing over the 985-foot tally container ship to figure out how to carefully and safely remove the steel and concrete.

Moore again declined to give a timeline for disaster recovery, as he and other officials have repeatedly done in the days since the disaster.

“It's not going to be days or weeks or months,” he said. “It will take time.”

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He and other state and federal officials spoke at a windy news conference near the towering Chesapeake 1000 in Tradepoint Atlantic, the only shipping platform still accessible by water in Baltimore Harbor, a deep-sea port. While the rest of the port remains inaccessible, officials said they hope to tap it more extensively.

During the update, an official from the Environmental Protection Agency addressed one of the most pressing concerns about the Daly: its 764 tons of hazardous materials on board. Earlier in the week, a National Transportation Safety Board official said some of the 56 cargo containers containing corrosives, flammable liquids and lithium-ion batteries had broken open and he noticed a glow in the Patapsco.

Adam Ortiz, the EPA's Mid-Atlantic regional administrator, said testing of the water found no major problems.

“At this time, there are no active releases from the vessel or substances hazardous to human health in the water,” Ortiz said.

Video from the scene shows the aftermath of the Baltimore Key Bridge collapse on March 26. (Video: Reuters)

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath told a news conference that the recovery would proceed in three phases — clearing the channel, allowing the port to resume some shipping, freeing the tow and moving it, and finally clearing the river and its remaining debris. the bed

“Breaking the bridge down into the right size pieces,” Gilreath said. Moore said the portion of the Key Bridge that rests on the dolly weighs between 3,000 and 4,000 tons, illustrating the challenge ahead.

Colonel Roland L. of the Maryland State Police. Butler Jr. said divers are on standby to recover the bodies of the missing bridge workers in the Patapsco River as soon as conditions permit and the cleanup reaches the proper stage. Two of the six workers have been rescued. Authorities said Wednesday night they found what appeared to be a large vehicle stuck in the wreckage of a bridge at the bottom of Patapsco.

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Meanwhile, President Biden told reporters Friday that he plans to visit Baltimore next week with Moore.

Dundalk, Md. Andrew Middleton, director of a Christian ministry in , said he had been in contact with staff at Daly's on Friday morning. A crew of 21, most of them Indians, will be on board.

Middleton said Friday that the crew requested Wi-Fi and new SIM cards to keep in touch with family back home. The ministry director said he knew the group had a TV, but was trying to find out if they had access to live local programming.

Middleton said the group is coordinating with other ministries and local agencies to get Wi-Fi, SIM cards and antennas for members. He expected the first delivery to leave on Saturday.

Former Maryland Gov. and current Republican U.S. Senate candidate Larry Hogan said in an interview on Fox News that he would “push” his party to fully fund the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key after federal officials on Thursday set aside $60 million in emergency funds for bridge recovery. the bridge

“I'm going to push them as hard as I can,” he said. “I've already called two Republican Senate leaders. I've started working on them.

Emily Davis contributed to this report.

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