Divers have found the bodies of two workers after a bridge collapsed in the USA

This Wednesday, divers found the bodies of two workers, a Mexican and a Guatemalan, among the six Latin Americans presumed dead in the cold waters of Baltimore harbor after a ship collapsed Bridge on the east coast of the United States (USA).

They were locked in “a red truck about 25 feet (about 7.5 meters) deep,” Colonel Roland Bulter, superintendent of the Maryland State Police, reported at a news conference.

They are the Mexican Alejandro Hernández Fuentes, 35 years old, and the Guatemalan Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26 years old, he said.

Sonar shows vehicles trapped in the steel and concrete rubble of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The structure toppled over the bow of the MV Dali ship after hitting infrastructure, blocking one of the busiest commercial ports in the United States.

Shortly before the collision, the ship made a distress call, prompting police to close traffic on the bridge. That probably saved lives.

But there was no way to evacuate the eight workers who were repairing potholes on the highway from the bridge.

Two were rescued from the waters of the Patapsco River shortly after the collapse. One was uninjured and the other was released from the hospital Wednesday, Butler said.

The other four workers are presumed dead.

Since it is not safe for divers to enter the tangle of broken beams and masts, police announced at the news conference that after clearing the rubble they would return and search for the remaining bodies.

Police have confirmed that the construction workers believed to be dead were from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

“They are all humble and hardworking men,” said Jesús Campos, a colleague of the eight workers at Brawner Builders.

One of the missing is Miguel Luna, a father of three who went to work on Monday evening and did not return. He is Salvadoran, El Salvador’s Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill confirmed on the social network X.

“Come out, come out.”

The ship remains “stable,” Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Gautier told reporters at the White House.

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He added that the mostly Indian crew remained on board and was cooperating with the investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board, a federal agency, said it had recovered the ship’s black box, which is very useful for investigators to clarify what happened.

Gautier stressed that the presence of the damaged ship in the port does not pose a threat to the environment, despite the billion and a half gallons of oil and dozens of cargo containers with hazardous substances on board.

Two more containers out of a total of 4,700 fell overboard, he said.

The ship’s crew tried to stop by dropping anchor, but to no avail.

“The entire bridge just collapsed! Get out, get out…everyone…” an operator shouted in the seconds after the collapse.

Reconstruction.

The “MV Dali”, a 300 meter long ship flying the Singapore flag, was heading towards Sri Lanka. It is operated by shipping company Synergy Group and chartered by Danish shipping giant Maersk.

According to the Singapore Port Authority, the ship passed two inspections in 2023 and a faulty fuel pressure monitoring gauge was repaired in June.

As access to the port is blocked by debris, shipping is suspended until further notice.

President Joe Biden promised to rebuild the bridge, which was dedicated in 1977 and named after the author of the lyrics to the American national anthem.

To get ahead of insurers and buy time, Biden wants “the federal government to cover the entire cost of reconstruction.”

This four-lane, 2.6-kilometer-long bridge lies on a north-south axis on the east coast of the United States that is crucial for the economy.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned this Wednesday “four key areas: reopening the port, managing the impact on the supply chain (…), rebuilding the bridge and managing road traffic.”

“Rebuilding will not be quick, easy or cheap,” he added.

Ryan Sweet, chief economist at Oxford Economics, told AFP that “there will be disruptions in the supply chain,” but he doesn’t expect a macroeconomic impact “because there are a lot of major ports very close to Baltimore.”

SPRING: AFP.

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