Bridge collapse in Baltimore | The bodies of two missing workers have been found

(Baltimore) The lifeless bodies of two of the six wanted workers were recovered Wednesday from the icy waters of the port of Baltimore, on the American east coast, authorities announced, the day after the spectacular collapse of a bridge hit by a container ship.

“Shortly before 10 a.m., divers located a red van at a depth of approximately 7.6 meters,” the police in Maryland, the state where Baltimore is located, announced during a press briefing. “Two victims of the tragedy were prisoners of the vehicle.”

The recovered bodies were identified as those of two men aged 35 and 26, who were part of the team of workers present on the roadway of the Francis Scott Key Bridge at the time of the accident.

The bodies of four of their colleagues, all presumed dead, have not yet been found, the authorities added.

But particularly because of the amount of concrete and debris, “divers are no longer able to make their way safely” towards “what we believe to be the trapped vehicles,” said Roland Butler, of the New York police. Maryland.

Rescuers will therefore seek to remove the structure from the water to facilitate access for divers, he said.


Among the potential victims are workers who worked on the structure, which spans the mouth of the Patapsco River.

The wanted victims were repairing potholes on the bridge when it collapsed into the Patapsco River around 1:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. Eastern Time) Tuesday, authorities said.

The authorities warned that they did not think they could “find these individuals still alive”, while two members of their team were rescued shortly after the tragedy.

Among the missing are workers from Mexico and Guatemala in particular.

The container ship Dalíflying the Singaporean flag, was leaving the port bound for Asia when it collided head-on with a pile of the structure.

The bridge, used every day by tens of thousands of vehicles, collapsed like a house of cards, with entire sections of the structure ending up on the boat.

“Not designed to resist”

The container ship is “stable”, Peter Gautier, head of the coast guard, assured Wednesday, adding that the ship does not represent a danger for the environment and the public, despite the presence on board of 5.6 billion liters of diesel and a few containers of hazardous materials.

Two containers, out of a total of 4,700, fell into the water.

The toll would have been worse if the ship, which suffered a “momentary loss of propulsion”, had not managed to send out a distress call.


This alert allowed the authorities to interrupt part of the road traffic at the last minute. The preliminary investigation shows that it was an accident, according to the authorities.

For the American Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg, “this type of bridge (…) was simply not designed to withstand a direct impact against an essential support pillar”.

Impressive video surveillance images show the container ship veering off course, hitting a pile of the bridge inaugurated in 1977 and then collapsing.

The crew had tried in vain to slow the ship’s course by dropping anchor.

Jennifer Homendy, head of the US Transportation Safety Agency (NTSB), said a team had recovered the container ship’s data recorders, a crucial element for the investigation.

“Cost of reconstruction”

President Joe Biden has pledged that “the federal government will pay the full cost of rebuilding” the bridge, which bears the name of the author of the lyrics of the American national anthem, admitting that it would take time.


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