Families of victims of Baltimore bridge collapse speak out: “Immense anguish”

After a disastrous collapse one day Francis Scott Key Bridge Baltimore, two The bodies were recovered From the Patapsco River, families of those missing or presumed dead later mourned.

“The divers rescued two people who were caught in this tragedy,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Roland Butler, Jr., said at a news conference Wednesday.

Maryland State Police identified the two victims as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, of Mexico, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, of Guatemala. Divers found the occupants of a red pickup truck submerged in 25 feet of water Wednesday morning.

Main bridge Early Tuesday morning, a large container ship leaving the nearby port of Baltimore lost power and hit one of its support columns, causing the entire structure to fall into the water, carrying people and vehicles. .

Everyone was on the bridge when it collapsed Part of the construction team Filling the gaps. The bridge remained open to traffic through the night, but minutes before the ferry hit the pier at 1:30 a.m., officials called a Mayday for crews in Maryland, which gave drivers enough time to block the entry.

A view of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after it collided with a freighter in Baltimore, Maryland on March 26, 2024.

Celal Kunz/Anatolu via Getty Images

Police can be heard on scanner traffic discussing the possibility of construction workers on the bridge before it collapses.

“If there's a crew out there, you might want to report who the foreman is and see if we can get them off the bridge temporarily,” the dispatcher says, in audio from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Channel, which was shared on the website Broadcastify. .

Two were rescued from the river Shortly after the collapse. One was unharmed and the other was hospitalized with injuries and later released.

Only two bodies were recovered on Wednesday Six people are missing. Officials who have reviewed sonar scans say they are confident the bodies of the four, who have yet to be found, may have been trapped inside the vehicles in the underwater wreckage.

Among those still missing is Miguel Luna, a father of three who came to the United States from El Salvador 19 years ago in search of a better life. The 40-year-old went to work on Monday around 6.30 pm.

“He would come home in the morning and never come,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, a nonprofit human rights organization that advocates for immigrant communities.

Another missing worker, Manor Yasir Suazo Sandoval, was days away from celebrating his 35th birthday when the bridge collapsed. Described as the light of her family, Sandoval leaves behind a teenage son and a 5-year-old daughter. He was identified as a Honduran citizen by Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Garcia.

Divers recover 2 bodies from Baltimore bridge collapse

Sandoval's older brother said their family was “in great pain”.

Father Ako Walker, a Baltimore priest, mourns with the family.

“They worked outside, they sacrificed for their families. And unfortunately, they may have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Walker said of the victims.

Moises Diaz, 45, a construction worker for Brawner Builders, told CBS News he was supposed to go to work but switched shifts. He knew all the victims and mourns his colleagues who he says are like family. “We shared food, we shared everything,” he said in an interview in Spanish.

Immigrants make up nearly 40% of the construction workforce in the Baltimore and Washington, DC, metro areas. Local officials and labor advocates who spoke to CBS News indicate that the same community is likely to be relied upon to rebuild the main bridge.

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