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Authorities prioritizing bridge cleanup and removing debris

President Joe Biden made $60 million in emergency funding available to the state of Maryland as it cleans up from the disaster.
Authorities prioritizing bridge cleanup and removing debris
Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 28, 2024

Officials in Baltimore say debris removal is now the priority after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

On Thursday, President Joe Biden made $60 million in emergency funding available to the state of Maryland as it cleans up from the disaster. 

In a press release, the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said, "No one will ever forget the shocking images of a container vessel striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing its collapse and the tragic loss of six people. The federal emergency funds we're releasing today will help Maryland begin urgent work, to be followed by further resources as recovery and rebuilding efforts progress. President Joe Biden has been clear, 'the federal government will do everything it takes to help rebuild the bridge and get the Port of Baltimore back open.'"

This comes amid concerns of supply chain disruptions due to the channel’s closure. The Port of Baltimore is far from the country’s largest port, but it does specialize in certain goods: It imports more automobiles than any other port in the country, according to the State of Maryland. It also handles 20% of the nation’s coal supply.

 On Thursday, Secretary Buttigieg "convened a meeting of ports, labor groups, and industry partners to discuss how to mitigate current and future supply chain disruptions," according to the Department of Transportation.

SEE MORE: Roadblocks in funding to rebuild collapsed Baltimore bridge

The National Transportation Safety Board also said 56 containers onboard the Dali were carrying hazardous materials and were breached. Among the hazardous materials were corrosives, flammables and lithium ion batteries, according to the agency. 

According to The Associated Press, the Key Bridge Joint Information Center said Thursday the breach did not pose an immediate environmental threat.

The NTSB said it could take up to two years to complete its investigation.


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