Baltimore Key Bridge collapse: Temporary channel opens for boats working on bridge response

The cargo ship struck Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday.

A cargo ship crashed into Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday morning, causing a near-total collapse of the span and halting vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore.

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.

What to know about the collapse

The container ship Dali struck Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, partially collapsing the bridge, officials in Maryland said.

A local pilot was at the helm of the ship at the time, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said.

The crash appeared to be accidental, not intentional, officials said.

Two construction workers were rescued and six went missing in the immediate aftermath of the collapse, officials said. The bodies of two of the victims were recovered from the water on Wednesday amid ongoing search and recovery efforts, while four remain missing and are presumed dead, officials said.

Legal team for ship argues for 'limited liability' in Bridge crash

Lawyers for the Singaporean company that operates the ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore say the company should have "limited liability" in the aftermath of the crash, according to court documents filed in federal court on Monday.

"The casualty was not due to any fault, neglect, or want of care on the part of Petitioners, the Vessel, or persons or entities for whose petitioners may be responsible," court documents filed in Maryland federal court say. "Alternatively, if any such faults caused or contributed to the Casualty, or to any loss or damage arising out of the casualty, which is denied, such faults were occasioned and occurred without petitioners’ privity or knowledge."

The filing seeks to minimize the financial exposure Grace Ocean Private Limited has over the crash.

It also goes into detail about how much damage the vessel sustained.

Court documents say that the vessel sustained $28 million worth of damage and had $1.7 million worth of cargo on the ship.

-ABC News' Luke Barr

Channel needs to be cleared more in order to recover 4 remaining victims

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Monday gave an update on his four directives in the wake of the bridge collapse.

In order to achieve his first goal -- recovering the four victims who remain missing -- Moore said there needs to be more work done to clear the channel in order to move forward.

A portion of the bridge under the water was described as "chaotic wreckage," Moore said, and the water is "so murky and so filled with debris that divers cannot see any more than a foot or two in front of them."

Every time a diver goes in the water to search for a victim, "they are taking a risk," Moore said.

The governor said he wants the recovery mission to be completed with no casualties. Six people have been killed in the bridge collapse, Moore said, adding, "I refuse to lose any more."

As for another goal -- reopening channel traffic -- the governor described the scale of the project as "enormous."

"Unified Command has scheduled another lift for later today, pending conditions -- specifically pending lightning. And they will be lifting an estimated 350-ton piece from the bridge," Moore said.

A temporary channel opened Monday to help get more vessels in the water around the site of the collapse, he said.

"The temporary channel will be marked with government lights to aid navigation and will have a controlling depth of 11 feet," Moore said.

Crews are also working on creating a second temporary channel that will measure about 15 feet deep, he said. That's expected to open "in the coming days," he said.

After more debris is cleared, crews will also work to open a third alternate channel with a depth expected around 20 to 25 feet, said Rear Adm. Shannon Gilreath, commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District. No timeline for this channel is known.

Biden to visit bridge on Friday

President Joe Biden will visit the Baltimore bridge site on Friday, April 5, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Biden will be joined by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

Jean-Pierre did not have any updates on the cost of rebuilding the bridge, repeatedly pointing back to the $60 million in emergency relief funds approved by the Biden administration to begin the recovery efforts.

"We're going to have continued conversation with the state of Maryland to get a sense of how much this is going to cost, and we have said, we are going to certainly continue to talk to Congress to get some assistance here," she said.

-ABC News' Karen Travers

Temporary channel opens

A temporary channel has opened in the vicinity of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, but the channel is limited only to vessels working on the bridge response, the Unified Command said.

The temporary channel is a very small opening, only accessible for small boats, the Unified Command said.

The Unified Command is made up of agencies including the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maryland State Police.

-ABC News’ Sam Sweeney

1 person hospitalized in very serious condition

Two people have been rescued from the water and crews are still searching for others, fire officials said.

One person rescued has been taken to a hospital in very serious condition, Baltimore Fire Department Chief James Wallace said.

The second rescued person denied medical treatment.