Recovery Efforts are Underway for Victims of the Key Bridge Collapse

March 27, 2024
Six construction workers are presumed dead

The search for the six missing construction workers in the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse continues today in Baltimore. They are now presumed dead.

One of the missing workers has been identified by Telemundo Washington D.C. as 49-year-old Miguel Luna of El Salvador, whose relatives say has six children. Two Guatemalans aged 26 and 35 are also unaccounted for, according to the country’s foreign ministry.

Also among the missing are people from Honduras and Mexico, diplomats say. The Honduran man was identified as Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandova, according to The Associated Press.

Tuesday morning around 1:30 a.m., a support column on the Francis Scott Key Bridge was hit by a large container ship that had lost power. The bridge crumbled, sending cars and people on the bridge into the Patapsco River.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, search and rescue operations were suspended, and officials transitioned to recovery efforts.

"Based on the length of time that we've gone in this search, the extensive search efforts that we've put into it, the water temperature — that at this point we do not believe that we're going to find any of these individuals still alive," Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said in a news conference Tuesday evening.

Two workers were rescued from the water shortly after the bridge collapse. One worker was not hurt, and the other was treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center and has been discharged.

The construction crew was filling potholes on the bridge at the time of the collapse, according to Gilreath. The crew worked for Brawner Builders, Inc., according to NBC News, and they were contractors for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).

The Coast Guard is leading the recovery mission at the Key Bridge site.

According with Col. Roland Butler Jr. with the Maryland State Police, conditions in the water such as changing currents, low visibility, and sharp metal objects made it dangerous for divers and first responders.

Divers began recovery operations at 6 a.m. Wednesday, however the victims’ exact locations are unknown.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg arrived at the scene in Baltimore on Tuesday, saying at the time that the DOT's Maritime Administration would assist with disrupted port, harbor, and supply chain operations.

The DOT's Federal Highway Administration will assist with the bridge, he said Tuesday.

He said his "first thoughts" were with the missing construction workers and their families.

"Now they are dealing with news that's just unthinkable," he said.


Source: NBC News, CBS News, Fox News

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