Organizations Working to Unite Family with Fallen Key Bridge Workers

April 24, 2024
Family members hope to bring their loved ones to home countries for burial

This week marks one month since a large container ship struck Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge and caused it to collapse into the Patapsco River.

Eight construction workers were conducting work on the bridge at the time—two were removed from the water and six people were presumed dead. So far, the bodies of four have been recovered from the site.

While the recovery process continues, immigrant advocacy organization CASA is working alongside Catholic Charities’ Esperanza Center to ensure that the families of the fallen bridge workers can travel to the United States.

Sixteen family members have successfully arrived in the U.S. and there are eight pending arrivals for the week of April 22, according to a Monday night statement from CASA.

So far, the bodies of 38-year-old Maynor Yasir Suazo-Sandoval, a Honduran native, 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, a Mexican native living in Baltimore, and 26-year-old Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, a Guatemalan native living in Dundal, Maryland, were recovered.

The surviving victim claimed the mayday call never reached the workers, who were in their vehicles on break and playing cards, according to a law firm representing victims and their families.

“Losing a loved one is always difficult. Not being able to celebrate them or bury them because they’re in another country is a heartache no one should have to experience,” said CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres, in a statement. “While that is a common reality of our broken immigration system, I’m soothed that at least in this instance, families will be together. Coordinating means they can pay their final respects to their loved ones. In this difficult time, families should be together in love, support, and comfort.”

CASA said siblings and parents will be joining their loved ones in the U.S.—some of whom haven’t seen each other in decades. Some will even bring their loved ones back home for burial.

“We are grateful to the families and relatives who have trusted us to support them in this most difficult of times,” said Matthew Dolamore, program director for the Esperanza Center, in a statement.

Officials also said they worked with the staff of Senator Chris Van Hollen, the White House, and Baltimore County Offices of Immigrant Affairs to make this happen.


Source: CBS Austin

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