Crews began removing containers from the Dali on Sunday, work that will continue in the days ahead as weather permits, according to the Joint Information Center.

Removing some of the containers is necessary for the salvage workers to reach the large portion of the Francis Scott Key Bridge that’s resting on top of the Dali.

Officials said container removal is “fluid,” so they did not have an exact number of how many had been moved as of Monday morning. The Dali was carrying 4,700 containers when it crashed into the Key Bridge. Some of the containers hold hazardous material, but there is no environmental or public health risk from them, according to officials.

A specialized salvage climber scales a container to survey damage to containers onboard the Dail. (Courtesy of Key Bridge Response Unified Command)

Salvage work continued over the weekend as well, the JIC said, including the partial removal of a 156-ton piece of bridge span on Saturday. Pieces of that salvage were taken to Sparrows Point in Baltimore County.

Officials also referenced “recent incursions” by drones into the safety zone around the site of the crash.

Six drone operators have violated the flight restrictions around the bridge, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA confirmed it was investigating but said it does not discuss open cases.

The Unified Command maintains a 2000-yard maritime safety zone for recovery efforts and the temporary flight restriction is a no fly-zone with a radius of three nautical miles from the surface, up to and including 1,500 feet above ground level. Those restrictions also apply to drones, not just manned aircraft.

Temporary channels around the wreckage have allowed 32 vessels to move in or out of the Port of Baltimore as of Sunday, according to the JIC. The Army Corps of Engineers has an ambitious timeline to have the port partially opened by the end of the month and fully reopened by the end of May.

President Joe Biden visited Baltimore on Friday and toured the site of the bridge collapse. He has said repeatedly he wants the federal government to cover the entire cost of replacing the Key Bridge. Already, the federal government has awarded a $60 million “down payment” to Maryland to fund salvage efforts.

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Salvage crews move a section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge to Sparrows Point . (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Erin Cox)

The National Transportation Safety Board and the United States Coast Guard are both investigating the circumstances of the late March crash that killed six construction workers.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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