Two more bodies are pulled from water under Baltimore bridge after six construction workers were declared 'presumed dead'

Thursday, March 28, 2024
 – Two bodies have been recovered from the Patapsco River following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

The two men, identified as 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentez of Baltimore, and 26-year-old Darlene Rania El Castillo Cabrera of Dundalk, were brought to shore on Wednesday morning, police confirmed.

'The teams made a tragic finding shortly before 10:00 ET with a red pickup truck near the bridge' Ronald L Butler from Maryland State Police said at a briefing on Wednesday evening.

'Divers recovered two victims trapped within the vehicle' he told reporters.

'My heart, and the heart of the entire city of Baltimore, is with you and will be with you forever' Mayor Brandon Scott said of the victim's families.

All six construction workers who were repairing potholes on the bridge when a cargo shipping container vessel crashed into it are presumed dead, with four bodies yet to be recovered. Two surviving workers were pulled out of the water on Tuesday.

The search for those missing began early on Wednesday morning after the Coast Guard called off its active search and rescue mission on Tuesday.

However, divers are now unable to safely navigate the waters due to the concrete and debris that has fallen into the water from the destroyed bridge, Maryland police said on Wednesday evening.

Police have used sonar scans and believe that the other vehicles are 'encased in superstructure and concrete.'

Earlier on Wednesday a port worker claimed that the Dali cargo ship which smashed into the bridge suffered a 'severe electrical problem' while docked in Baltimore days before.

Julie Mitchell, co-administrator of Container Royalty, a company which tracks cargo, told CNN the ship was anchored at the port for at least 48 hours prior to the deadly crash.

Following the devastation, she said: 'And those two days, they were having serious power outages… they had a severe electrical problem. It was total power failure, loss of engine power, everything.'

Mitchell explained that refrigerated boxes tripped breakers on board the ship on several occasions, and mechanics had been trying to fix the issue.

She said she didn't know whether the problem had been fixed when the ship set off.

The 1.6-mile Key Bridge partially collapsed after the cargo shipping container vessel crashed into one of its support structures just before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said the ship's crew notified officials that it had lost power in the moments before the collision.

Mitchell told CNN that major power problems on board large vessels like the Dali are 'not really that common at all', describing the freak incident as 'very rare'.

'They shouldn't have let the ship leave port until they got it on under control,' she said.

It has been widely reported that the Dali suffered a loss in propulsion which caused steering issues in the lead-up to the crash that caused the iconic bridge to collapse like a 'house of cards.'

One officer on the Dali also said that before the crash, the engines 'coughed and then stopped.' There was not enough time before the ship hit the bridge to drop anchors prompting the vessel to drift.

'The vessel went dead, no steering power and no electronics... The smell of burned fuel was everywhere in the engine room and it was pitch black,' the officer said.

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