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Coast Guard, Maryland officials address environmental concerns as crews continue salvage, recovery operations at Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

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BALTIMORE, MD—Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland Department of the Environment say that they are addressing environmental concerns as crews continue salvage and recovery operations at the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore.

A sheen was seen around the boats at the scene of the bridge collapse. Officials say that they have identified 56 containers that were loaded on the boat and that 14 of those containers were impacted. Officials say that they have not found any evidence of volatile organic compounds or flammable vapors at the scene.

An industrial hygienist was brought in to assess the potential hazards that could arise from the oil spill. The Coast Guard and Maryland Department of the Environment say that they are currently conducting air monitoring of the area.

The Unified Command established a 2000-yard safety zone around the M/V Dali recovery efforts. The safety zone is enforced to protect personnel, boats, and the marine environment from potential hazards associated with salvage work. The Coast Guard and MDOT are also conducting visual inspections of the water quality at the scene. They say that they are working to ensure that no hazardous substances are released into the marine environment.

ABC News reports that the Chesapeake 1000 crane — capable of lifting roughly 2.2 million pounds at a time — arrived at the bridge at 11 p.m. Thursday, according to the bridge response Unified Command.

Six construction workers are believed to have fallen from the collapsing bridge into the frigid waters of the Patapsco River below. The bodies of two of the victims have been recovered so far, while four remain missing and are presumed dead, officials said.

I-695 remains closed on the Outer Loop at MD 173 (Exit 1) and on the Inner Loop at MD 157/Peninsula Expressway (Exit 43). Allow extra travel times using alternate routes on I-95, I-895 and other portions of I-695.

Vehicles transporting hazardous materials prohibited in tunnels should use the western section of I-695 around the tunnels. This includes vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, and significant amounts of radioactive materials.

Tuesday morning’s Key Bridge collapse remains under investigation.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

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