Baltimore Bridge Collapses After Ship Collision

AP News

Lex Valluzzi, Staff Writer

Last month, a cargo ship struck the pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and caused the entire structure to collapse. The forty-seven-year-old bridge had reportedly been in excellent condition according to its last inspection. However, the significant weight of the ship was too much for the piers to handle. Experts have stated that the bridge did not have “adequate pier protection.” Meaning there was nothing to prevent anything from hitting the vertical structure that extends into the water. Federal Investigators have since stated that the crash was an accident.  

There were eight construction workers on the bridge who were working an overnight shift filling  potholes on the bridge when the crash occurred. Two of the men were rescued by divers shortly  after the accident, and the following day the bodies of 35-year-old Alejandro Hernández Fuentes and 26-year-old Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera were retrieved from the water. The remaining four men are still reported to be missing after many efforts were being made by a search and rescue team.  

Officials have stated that the missing men may be trapped inside vehicles and searching efforts  can continue after the wreckage has been cleared from the water. As for the members of the crew  on the cargo ship, there were twenty-one members aboard the vessel, most of them hailing from  India. The accident occurred as they were leaving for a twenty-seven-day trip to Sri Lanka. Out of the twenty-one men on board, six of them have been pronounced dead from falling debris. A few have suffered minor injuries, but the exact number is unconfirmed.  

International sea faring officials from India and the United States have been in contact with the  remaining men on board and state that they are doing well. However, the cargo ship’s crew was  not allowed to disembark from the ship. Coast Guard officials say that the Maryland port needs  to be reopened before they can tend to the crew members. There is currently no plan to  

disembark the cargo ship crew members, and they will remain there indefinitely.  

There is currently an ongoing investigation into how the crash occurred. To clarify the reasoning  for the ship’s path, the captain of the cargo ship that struck the structure stated, “They were  sailing down and around the tip of South Africa in order to avoid the incidents that are going on  off the Yemen coast, and it was a safer way to go.” Investigations are being conducted into the  bridge itself which include how it was built as well as if the bridge has ever failed a routine  safety inspection.  

Members of the Baltimore community have been working together to create a memorial for the  construction workers who were killed in the accident. The victims were immigrants from  Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and El Salvador. The memorials included construction helmets 

and the flags of their respective countries. Plans to reopen the international port, as well as rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge, are to be discussed shortly.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.