Two bodies found after Baltimore tragedy

Henry

The bodies of two construction workers were found in a pickup truck in the cold waters of the Baltimore harbor on Wednesday after a giant cargo ship plowed into the Francis Scott Key bridge and caused it to collapse.

The Maryland police made the announcement during a media conference and said they believe more vehicles are trapped in the debris.

Eight construction workers were repairing potholes on the bridge when the disaster occurred shortly after midnight US time.

The two victims found Wednesday were identified as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes (35) and his 26-year-old colleague Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera. Two construction workers were pulled alive from the water moments after the collapse.

Marcel Muise, chief investigator for the national transport safety board, said at a separate press conference that the cargo ship, about 300 m long, left the port at 00:39 on Tuesday on its way to Asia.

At 01:24, alarms on the ship began to go off indicating power problems and the port authority was notified that the ship was heading for the bridge and tugs were requested.

The call for help was heard by two officers on the bridge and all lanes of traffic were closed.

The Port of Baltimore is the ninth busiest US port in terms of foreign cargo handling and foreign cargo value.

The effect on supply chains “clearly will not be insignificant”, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, adding that it was “too soon” to know when the port might reopen.