Baltimore: 2 bodies recovered from the water

Two days after the bridge collapsed in Baltimore, emergency services recovered two bodies from the water. The US Transportation Safety Board is now inspecting the damaged container ship "Dali."

Divers have recovered two bodies two days after the bridge over Baltimore Harbor collapsed. The Maryland state police said they were two men, ages 26 and 35, from Guatemala and Mexico. The two were workers on a six-person construction team that was working on the Francis Scott Key Bridge at the time of the accident.

On Tuesday night, the container ship “Dali” rammed a pillar of the four-lane motorway bridge, causing it to collapse. Shortly before, the crew of the “Dali” had made an emergency call in which there was talk of a power failure on board – they had lost control of the controls. The police closed the bridge as quickly as possible after receiving the warning.

NTSB interviews crew

Before the “Dali” left the port of Baltimore, the ship underwent routine maintenance, the US Coast Guard reported. The crew informed authorities about the repair work, but no problems were reported.

The US Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has now begun an investigation into the accident. NTSB employees inspected the “Dali”, secured documents and questioned the captain and other crew members. According to the information, the investigation could take twelve to 24 months, but the authority can make safety recommendations as an initial result.

Difficult diving operation

The 23 members of the ship’s crew were uninjured in the collision with the bridge pier. Several vehicles fell from the bridge into the water. Two people were rescued from the river on the morning of the accident. Four others are currently missing and authorities assume they are dead. According to the Maryland State Police, sonar images suggest that the vehicles that fell into the river and their occupants were trapped in the rubble of the bridge. As soon as the bridge parts had come loose, the divers would continue the rescue.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore explained that the operating conditions for the divers were difficult: in the darkness of the depths, with poor visibility, they had to swim between bent metal parts.

Reconstruction planned

Meanwhile, the greater Baltimore area is struggling with the consequences of the accident: on the one hand, the port, one of the most important US transshipment points for car transport, is closed, and on the other hand, one of the main traffic arteries is permanently missing. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in Washington that rebuilding the bridge was a priority for the US government – but he did not give a possible time frame.


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