Divers Retrieve Two Bodies From Sunken Truck in Baltimore Bridge Collapse

baltimore bridge collapsed

In a devastating incident that has left the city of Baltimore in shock, two construction workers lost their lives when a massive cargo ship collided with the bridge they were repairing. The collision led to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, plunging the workers and their red pickup truck into the icy waters of the Baltimore harbor.

Maryland police, in a somber press conference, revealed that sonar imaging indicated the presence of additional vehicles trapped amidst the concrete and twisted metal remnants of the bridge. Out of the eight-member construction crew, it is feared that six have perished, with four bodies yet to be located.

Authorities have cautioned against immediate diving attempts into the wreckage due to safety concerns. Instead, a salvage operation is planned to dismantle the superstructure before proceeding with recovery efforts. “Based on sonar scans, we firmly believe that the vehicles are encased in the superstructure and concrete that we tragically saw come down,” conveyed Colonel Roland Butler, Maryland’s state police superintendent.

The catastrophic incident unfolded when the container ship Dali, stretching approximately 1,000 feet in length and laden with cargo bound for Asia, suffered a power failure while departing the bustling port around 1:30 am on Tuesday. The vessel careened into a support column, resulting in the rapid collapse of nearly the entire steel bridge structure, obstructing one of the nation’s busiest trading ports.

Prompt action following a distress call from the ship averted further casualties by enabling authorities to halt traffic on the bridge. However, the construction workers, engaged in repairing potholes directly above the ship’s path, had no opportunity to evacuate.

The deceased workers were identified as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, originally from Mexico and residing in Baltimore, and his 26-year-old colleague Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, a resident of Dundalk with Guatemalan origins. Their bodies were discovered submerged in 25 feet of water.

While two individuals were rescued from the water shortly after the collapse, with one escaping unharmed and the other discharged from the hospital the following day, four workers remain missing and are presumed dead amidst the tumultuous currents and wreckage.

Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier assured reporters of the vessel’s stability despite its entanglement in debris, noting the active involvement of the predominantly Indian crew in the ongoing investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board retrieved the ship’s data recorder to facilitate inquiries into the circumstances leading to the collision.

Despite concerns regarding potential environmental hazards posed by the cargo ship’s contents, including billions of gallons of oil and several dozen hazardous material containers, officials asserted that the vessel did not present immediate danger. However, two of the 4,700 containers onboard were lost overboard.

The missing workers hailed from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, described by their colleague Jesus Campos as diligent and humble individuals employed by contractor Brawner Builders. Among the presumed deceased was Miguel Luna, a father of three from El Salvador, whose absence has left his family and community devastated.

The impact of the bridge collapse reverberates beyond the loss of lives, disrupting the operations of the Port of Baltimore, the ninth-busiest major port in the United States.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged the significant implications for supply chains, emphasizing the arduous and costly task of rebuilding in the aftermath of the tragedy. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the risks faced by construction workers and the importance of stringent safety measures in such high-risk environments.

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