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Key Bridge collapse site's second channel opens amid recovery discussions

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Baltimore (WBFF) — One key point made by Maryland Governor Wes Moore Tuesday was that a second channel is running through the Patapsco River at the site of the Key Bridge collapse that's virtually shut down the Port of Baltimore.

It has been a full week since a crippled cargo ship collided with the Key Bridge causing it to collapse. Six construction workers were left dead after the calamitous incident.

At the latest news conference Tuesday, the governor and Mayor Brandon Scott spoke about recovery efforts.

"Of course, first and foremost, again, thoughts and prayers of all of Baltimore will now and forever be with those who we lost. I don't want us to lose sight of the fact that we still have four Marylanders missing below the water," said Scott.

The governor said rough weather conditions over the last two days, including thunderstorms, have made it unsafe for divers trying to recover the victims' bodies, who are believed trapped underwater in the wreckage.

ALSO READ | A close up look of the Key Bridge collapse with the Army Corps of Engineers

Recovery are efforts continuing, but safety comes first.

"We promised those families (of the victims) that we would do everything in our power to bring them closure. But also, my directive is to complete this mission with no injuries and no casualties," said Moore.

Regarding cleanup efforts, Moore says crew members continue to work around the clock to pull pieces of twisted steel out of the water. Also, two temporary channels have been opened to allow commercial traffic through that area. The channels will be used for what officials are calling "commercially essential vessels."

"Priority number one still remains to reopen the deep draft channel," said Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath of the U.S. Coast Guard. "Our number two priority is to remove the Dali from the channel and we continue to work on that. We've got divers going down today that are still continuing to survey around the ship," he added.

ALSO READ | Underwater wreckage of Francis Scott Key Bridge revealed in U.S. Navy imagery

As the governor says, the work is moving and the mission continues.

"But I do want to be clear, we are still a long way from being able to get the size and the cadence of the commercial traffic back to where it was before the collapse," said Moore.

Meanwhile, the cargo ship's owner is trying to limit its liability saying they should not be held responsible for any damages. But if they are, they're asking a federal judge to put a cap on those damages, not to exceed the value of the ship they say, which is just over $43 million.

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