Two bodies were found in a submerged pickup truck after the Baltimore Bridge collapsed

BALTIMORE – Two bodies were recovered from a red pickup truck found in the water near the center span of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland State Police said during a news conference.

According to Maryland State Police Superintendent Roland Butler Jr., the two men were located by divers shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday. The truck was submerged in water about 25 feet deep, he said.

Police identified the victims as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, a native of Mexico who lived in Baltimore, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, a native of Guatemala who lived in Dundalk. According to authorities, both were construction workers.

One was identified by a driver’s license in his pocket and the other by his fingerprint, authorities said.

The emergency services are looking for four other people who fell into the water and are presumed dead.

According to Maryland State Police, two bodies were found in the water after a bridge collapsed

How the collapse happened

Just hours before the commute was set to begin Tuesday morning, the crew of a massive cargo ship leaving the port of Baltimore lost propulsion and control of the ship, causing it to crash into a Key Bridge support column and triggering a catastrophic collapse of the 1.6 Officials said it spread about a mile, throwing vehicles and people into the water.

The transportation disaster occurred around 1:35 a.m. and prompted a full-scale emergency response from Baltimore police, firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard, as authorities estimated that up to 20 vehicles, along with several workers who were part of a maintenance team, which was repairing potholes that went into water on the span, officials said.

“I can tell you, our sonar has detected the presence of vehicles submerged in the water,” Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace said at a news conference early Tuesday.

Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said the water depth in the area where the crash occurred was about 50 feet.

NTSB releases new video as investigation into Baltimore bridge collapse continues

What we know about the missing workers

We learn more about the deceased as the search continues for the remaining missing workers in the Patapsco River.

The workers were part of the maintenance team that repaired the asphalt on the bridge.

Miguel Luna, originally from El Salvador, was married and had three children.

Another missing victim has been identified as Maynor Suazo Sandoval, a father of two who immigrated from Honduras more than 17 years ago, according to Gustavo Torres, the executive director of CASA, an immigrant and Latino advocacy and aid organization.

He dreamed of starting a small business and brought joy and humor to his family, Torres told reporters Wednesday.

Other missing workers are believed to be from Mexico and Honduras.

RELATED: What we know about the missing workers after the Baltimore Bridge collapse as recovery efforts resume

The ship was carrying hazardous substances: NTSB

A hazardous materials investigator examined the cargo on the container ship and identified 56 containers containing hazardous materials, Jennifer Homendy, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Wednesday evening.

The 56 containers contain 764 tons of hazardous materials, including “mainly corrosive, flammable materials and various Class 9 hazardous materials, which include lithium-ion batteries,” Homendy said.

Some of the hazardous materials containers were “breached” and “sheen” was seen on the waterway, which state and local authorities are aware of and are investigating, officials said.

Homendy said it was unknown how many dangerous containers were in the water after the incident.

According to the NTSB chairman, there were 23 people on board the Dali at the time of the collision, 21 crew members and two pilots.

During the briefing, Homedy said the data recording devices they have access to are considered basic compared to a commercial aircraft.

The ship’s voice data recorder captured limited information, she said.

The U.S. Coast Guard provided six hours of data to the NTSB upon arrival between midnight and 6 a.m. ET.

Officials said Wednesday that the box’s audio quality “varies greatly” due to the high levels of background noise that must be filtered out to improve audio quality.

They expect to recover data from the data recorders for 30 days, she said.

Regarding the collision, the NTSB said current data indicates a power outage, but it has not confirmed this or a possible reason for the likely power outage.

NTSB provides update on Baltimore Bridge collapse on March 27, 2024

“Abundance of Twisted Metal”

Images from underwater drones show “an abundance of twisted metal and debris” from the collapsed Key Bridge, making it unsafe for divers to enter the water, according to a new Department of Homeland Security situation assessment obtained by ABC News on Wednesday.

According to the report, “a truck and trailer” were recovered from the water and a vehicle is still hanging on the metal structure of the collapsed bridge.

Investigators also determined that there are 13 damaged containers on board the cargo ship that are being inspected for potentially hazardous materials.

RELATED: NTSB is combing through the voyage recorder to create a timeline for the Baltimore bridge collapse

“There is minor nuisance at the scene of the accident. The oil spill has been ordered and staged, but will not be carried out until search and rescue and diving operations are completed. The potential amount of oil leakage is 1.8 [million] gallons of marine diesel,” the document states.

During a press conference at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, Vice Admiral Peter Gautier, deputy commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, said the cargo ship was loaded with 4,700 containers, 56 of which contained hazardous materials.

“Most of these things are things like mineral oils, and while they are dangerous, we have concluded that there really is no danger to the public,” Gautier said, adding that the two containers that were in the… The water did not contain any dangerous substances.

MORE | Ten more ships are stuck in Baltimore harbor

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge struck by a container ship on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Baltimore, Maryland.

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a view of the Francis Scott Key Bridge struck by a container ship on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Maxaar Technologies via AP

Gautier also said there were no signs that the container ship was leaking fuel or taking on water.

At the same White House press conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that while there is no estimate yet on how much it will cost to rebuild the bridge, he said it will “not be quick, easy or cheap.”

“We are on your side,” Biden tells Baltimore residents

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the White House, President Joe Biden said he had authorized the use of federal funds for the search and rescue operation.

“We are incredibly grateful to the brave rescuers who rushed to the scene of the accident. And to the people of Baltimore, we want to say: We are with you and we will stay with you as long as it takes,” Biden said.

The president reiterated testimony from local, state and federal officials who said investigators had found no evidence linking the incident to terrorism. Biden called it a “horrible incident and accident.”

RELATED: How to deal with your fears after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

Biden promised that the federal government would pay $110 million to replace the bridge, which was built in the 1970s, or $500 million in 2024 when adjusted for inflation.

President Joe Biden gave a speech after a cargo ship struck and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

The FBI, which arrived at the scene an hour after the incident, confirmed there was no connection to terrorism, said Bill DelBagno, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office.

Power problems were reported before the crash

According to a Coast Guard memo obtained by ABC News, a harbor pilot and assistant aboard the cargo ship reported power problems that led to multiple alarms on the ship’s bridge and loss of propulsion. The pilots controlled the ship, not the ship’s captain, said Wiedefeld.

PHOTOS: The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapses after a cargo ship rams into the support column

A container ship lies on the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, seen from Pasadena, Maryland, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Biden said local authorities were warned of the impending disaster and closed the bridge to traffic before the crash, “which undoubtedly saved lives.”

Officials said the container ship was traveling at a speed of 8 knots, or about 15 km/h, when it struck the bridge. They said the disaster could have been much worse if authorities had not stopped cars from entering the bridge.

Moore described the crash as “unprecedented.”

“Hearing the words that the Key Bridge has collapsed is shocking and heartbreaking,” Moore said.

All workers on the container ship were accounted for, the Coast Guard memo said.

Moore said there were no structural issues with the bridge and said it was “fully compliant.”

MORE | Who was Francis Scott Key, whose eponymous bridge collapsed? His poem became “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Francis Scott Key watches the bombing and the US flag over Fort McHenry.

Francis Scott Key watches the bombing and the US flag over Fort McHenry.

Getty Images

The White House said that after learning of the incident, Biden called senior members of his team into a meeting about the bridge collapse. During the briefing, the president directed his team to ensure all federal resources are made available to support ongoing search and rescue efforts, White House officials said.

Previous defects discovered on cargo ship

Danish shipping company Maersk chartered the cargo ship Dali, a spokesman for the company told ABC News in a statement.

“We are appalled by what happened in Baltimore and our thoughts are with everyone affected. We can confirm that the container ship “DALI”, operated by charter vessel company Synergy Group, is on a time-chartered basis from Maersk and is carrying Maersk customers. “There were no Maersk crew or personnel on board the vessel. We are closely following the authorities’ and Synergy’s investigations and will do our best to keep our customers informed,” the Maersk spokesperson said.

According to Electronic Quality Shipping Information System (Equasis) records, the Dali cargo ship has had two defects since it was built in 2015.

The most recent deficiency was discovered on June 27, 2023 during an inspection at the port of San Antonio, Chile. According to Equasis, the shortage affected “propulsion and auxiliary machinery” in terms of measuring devices and thermometers. The other defect was discovered in 2016 due to “structural conditions” related to a damaged hull that “impaired seaworthiness.”

RELATED: Officials stopped traffic on Baltimore’s Key Bridge before collapse: ‘These people are heroes’

According to the records, the last inspection of the container ship took place on September 13, 2023 in New York.

Dramatic safety video captured the ship crashing into one of the main supports holding up the middle cantilevered section of the bridge, causing the bridge to break apart into multiple sections and sending twisted metal flying into the water onto the Dali’s bow, while black Smoke rose from the vessel.

At the time of the collapse, several vehicles fell from the bridge, the Baltimore City Fire Department said.

Two of the construction workers who were on the bridge survived, including one who escaped from the bridge and the other who fell into the water and swam to shore, according to the latest internal Department of Homeland Security briefing obtained by ABC News .

Just a few minutes before the accident, the video showed traffic flowing on the bridge, but before the impact the traffic almost completely disappeared.

After reviewing traffic cameras, Maryland traffic officials confirmed there were “no vehicles.” [were] “I was crossing the bridge at the time of the incident,” said the latest internal Department of Homeland Security briefing, obtained by ABC News.

The pilot who was piloting the ship “is currently undergoing drug and alcohol testing following the accident,” the briefing said.

The Dali “remains impaled in the bridge,” the document said, adding that several shipping containers with unknown cargo fell into the water. There is damage to the hull above the waterline of the ship, but the ship remains watertight,” the document said.

Had the accident occurred a few hours later, at the height of the morning commute, the bridge likely would have been crowded with commuters. The bridge is part of the busy Interstate 695, which connects Baltimore to Washington, DC. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, an estimated 11.5 million vehicles cross the bridge annually, or about 30,000 per day.

The bridge, which opened on March 23, 1977, had just celebrated its 47th anniversary.

The crash paralyzed the seaport, which state officials said serves more than 50 shipping companies whose ships call at the port about 1,800 times a year.

ABC News’ Victoria Arancio, Alex Grainger, Sam Sweeney and Felicia Alvarez contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2024 ABC News Internet Ventures.

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