Memorial Held for Fallen Key Bridge Workers

April 29, 2024
Ceremony was held on Workers Memorial Day

Community members and Baltimore leaders gathered on Sunday to pay tribute to the six construction workers who died during the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse which happened a little more than a month ago.

On March 26, the Dali, a 946-foot vessel cargo ship managed by Synergy Marine Group, a Singapore-based company, crashed into Baltimore's iconic bridge, causing it to collapse.

Eight construction workers, who were repairing potholes on the bridge at around 1:30 a.m., fell into the water. Two were rescued, four were recovered and two remain missing and are presumed dead.

A memorial ceremony on Sunday honored not only the six workers who died when the bridge collapsed, but all workers who have been injured or killed on the job. April 28 marks Workers Memorial Day.

Workers Memorial Day, an annual day of remembrance for laborers killed or hurt on the job, started in 1989 by the AFL-CIO. Thousands of workers nationwide are estimated by the organization of labor unions to be injured or killed on the job each day.

Union leaders and officials advocated for enhancing worker safety rights in Maryland and across the country.

Last year, local labor officials held a Workers Memorial Day ceremony that focused on six other construction workers who were killed in a high-speed crash on Interstate 695. Over the past five years, the Maryland Department of Labor has investigated approximately two workplace deaths each month, according to Portia Wu state Labor Secretary. Construction workers make up only 5% of the workers in Maryland but about 30% of the state’s workplace deaths, she said.

"It doesn't matter what trade you're in, when or where your family came to America from," said Courtney Jenkins, President of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO Unions, in a statement. "We are all brothers and sisters, and everyone has the inherent right to a job that ensures they can go home safely to their family at the end of their shift."

At the memorial, members of the labor community and political leaders spoke about the six men who died from the Key Bridge collapse.

"Their labor is performed at great personal risk, so that the rest of us may lead our lives," said Alex Vazquez, from CASA Maryland in a statement. "These unsung heroes paved the way for us to commute to work, reunite with family and traverse our communities."

"A little over a month ago, six individuals left their homes going out to make all of our lives easier. And they didn't go back to their families. The pain that their family is enduring is a pain like no other," said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott in a statement. "We will all be repairing and rebuilding ourselves from this tragedy for a long time."

The state department of labor called this a solemn day. At this press conference last year, officials honored six construction workers were struck and killed on I-695. Now one year later, the ceremony honored six other construction workers lost in tragedy.

"Construction workers as has already been said are at particular risk. They only make up 5 percent of the workers in Maryland. They make up about 30 percent of the deaths," Portia Wu, Secretary of the State Department of Labor, said. "This is a high-risk industry. And the irony is, these are the workers who are building a better world for all of us."

The investigation into the collapse is still on going.


Source: CBS News, Yahoo News

Sponsored Recommendations

The Science Behind Sustainable Concrete Sealing Solutions

Extend the lifespan and durability of any concrete. PoreShield is a USDA BioPreferred product and is approved for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It works great above...

Proven Concrete Protection That’s Safe & Sustainable

Real-life DOT field tests and university researchers have found that PoreShieldTM lasts for 10+ years and extends the life of concrete.

Revolutionizing Concrete Protection - A Sustainable Solution for Lasting Durability

The concrete at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is subject to several potential sources of damage including livestock biowaste, food/beverage waste, and freeze/thaw...

The Future of Concrete Preservation

PoreShield is a cost-effective, nontoxic alternative to traditional concrete sealers. It works differently, absorbing deep into the concrete pores to block damage from salt ions...