Wed. Apr 17th, 2024
alert-–-two-people-pulled-from-patapsco-river-in-search-for-bodies-after-dali-cargo-ship-struck-francis-scott-bridge-in-baltimoreAlert – Two people pulled from Patapsco River in search for bodies after Dali cargo ship struck Francis Scott Bridge in Baltimore

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. Both men’s families have been informed.  

‘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 famillies. 

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

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

The cargo ship Dali is stuck under part of the structure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge after the ship hit the bridge

The cargo ship Dali is stuck under part of the structure of the Francis Scott Key Bridge after the ship hit the bridge

Six construction workers who were repairing potholes on the bridge when a cargo shipping container vessel crashed into it are presumed dead. Two surviving workers were pulled out of the water on Tuesday. 

The search for the remaining six began early on Wednesday morning after the Coast Guard called off its active search and rescue mission on Tuesday declaring that those missing were presumed dead. 

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.’ 

Details of the fatal incident are still emerging but 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’.  

Six workers who were on the bridge, pouring concrete to fix potholes as part of a graveyard shift, remain missing and are presumed dead

Six workers who were on the bridge, pouring concrete to fix potholes as part of a graveyard shift, remain missing and are presumed dead 

The Dali cargo ship which smashed into the Key Bridge suffered a 'severe electrical problem' while docked in Baltimore days before, according to a port worker

The Dali cargo ship which smashed into the Key Bridge suffered a ‘severe electrical problem’ while docked in Baltimore days before, according to a port worker

The first of the six: Miguel Luna, 49, was the first missing construction worker identified following the collapse

The first of the six: Miguel Luna, 49, was the first missing construction worker identified following the collapse

‘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.

When a ship such as the Dali loses power, backup generators kick in but they do not fulfill all of the same functions as the main power, Pagoulatos said.

In 2016, the Dali was involved in an accident in the port of Antwerp.

The Antwerp port authorities said the container ship Dali hit a quay on July 11, 2016, as it tried to exit the North Sea container terminal.

A 2016 inspection of the vessel conducted in Antwerp found it had a structural issue, which was stated as ‘hull damage impairing its seaworthiness,’ according to data published on Equasis, a public database for the shipping industry.

Maynor Suazo, 37, a native of Honduras has been named as the other man missing and presumed dead

Maynor Suazo, 37, a native of Honduras has been named as the other man missing and presumed dead 

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

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

Inspectors found a problem with the Dali’s machinery in June, but a more recent examination did not identify any deficiencies, according to the shipping information system Equasis.

The port authorities said the ship had remained at the dock for repairs for some time after the incident.

‘As a general rule, these accidents are investigated and ships are only allowed to leave after experts have determined it is safe for them to do so,’ a spokesperson for Antwerp port told Reuters.

Video footage on social media showed the vessel slamming into the bridge in darkness, the headlights of vehicles visible on the span as it crashed into the water and the ship caught fire.

Paul Wiedefeld, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the state ‘intends to receive federal dollars very quickly’ to begin reconstruction.

 ‘We will come up with a design for the replacement of that bridge as quickly as possible to get the port back up and the community back up and running,’ he said. 

The Port of Baltimore handles more automobile cargo than any other U.S. port – more than 750,000 vehicles in 2022, according to port data.

The collapsed bridge will now cause more chaos for an overstressed supply chain and could hike prices for months to come.

 The port creates $2.6 billion in business income, $3.3 billion in wages, and nearly $400 million in taxes a year, according to the Maryland Government.

Photos showed at least a dozen large ships sitting in the Chesapeake Bay waiting for instructions about which port they would be rerouted to

Photos showed at least a dozen large ships sitting in the Chesapeake Bay waiting for instructions about which port they would be rerouted to

This aerial image shows container ships anchored in the Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis

This aerial image shows container ships anchored in the Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis

Each green dot is a large container ship or tanker stuck in the Chesapeake Bay, unable to enter the Port of Baltimore

Each green dot is a large container ship or tanker stuck in the Chesapeake Bay, unable to enter the Port of Baltimore 

Experts estimated more than $15 million in local economic activity would be lost for every day the port stays shut.

Over the next few weeks, 107 vessels scheduled to dock in Baltimore will have to find another port – and far more the longer the harbor is closed.

Baltimore handled 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo last year worth about $80.8 billion, ranking ninth in the US for both metrics and records for the port.

The cost to shipping, consumers, and the American economy is too early to calculate, but every day the port is closed is $217 million worth of cargo not arriving.

The port generates more than 15,000 jobs, including 2,000 dock workers down $2 million a day in lost wages, and another 140,000 are dependent on port activity.