Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Americas

2 bodies found as Baltimore bridge collapse moves from recovery to salvage

Updated: 2024-03-28 09:48
Share - WeChat
The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge is seen from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, US, March 27, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

BALTIMORE - The bodies of two construction workers were found in the cold waters of Baltimore harbor Wednesday, trapped in their red pick-up truck after a giant cargo ship slammed into the bridge they had been filling potholes on, causing a thunderous collapse.

Maryland police announced the grim discovery at a press conference, adding that sonar shows what they believe are more vehicles trapped within the concrete and twisted steel debris of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Six of the eight-man construction crew are believed to have been killed, with four bodies yet to be found.

Warning that it was not safe for divers to try to penetrate the wreckage, police told a press conference that they were shifting to a salvage operation, removing the superstructure and then sending divers back in to recover the rest of the bodies.

"Based on sonar scans, we firmly believe that the vehicles are encased in the superstructure and concrete that we tragically saw come down," Colonel Roland Butler, the superintendent of Maryland's state police, told a press conference.

The container ship Dali, about 1,000 feet (300 meters) long, and piled high with cargo, was leaving the busy port at 1:30 am Tuesday en route to Asia when power failed and the vessel crashed straight into a support column.

Nearly the entire steel structure - crossed by tens of thousands of motorists each day - collapsed within seconds, cascading over the bow of the ship, blocking one of the busiest US trading ports.

The ship issued a Mayday call in the moments before the collision, prompting police to rush to stop traffic on the bridge - likely saving lives.

But there was no chance to evacuate the eight workers filling potholes on the road directly above the oncoming ship.

Butler named the two victims found Wednesday as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, a 35-year-old who had lived in Baltimore but was originally from Mexico, and his 26-year-old colleague Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, who lived in the suburb of Dundalk but came from Guatemala.

They were found in 25 feet of water, he said.

Two others were pulled from the water alive in the moments after the collapse early Tuesday. One was uninjured, while the second was released from hospital Wednesday, Butler said.

Four more workers are presumed dead, vanished into the swirling currents and crumpled tangle of wrecked girders and pylons.


Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349