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The bodies of a Mexican and a Guatemalan recovered after Baltimore bridge collapse

The victims have been identified as Alejandro Hernández Fuentes and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera. Four other Hispanic workers are still missing, but U.S. authorities said it is no longer safe for divers to continue searching the accident area

Baltimore bridge
Workers search for victims after the freighter Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.Scott Olson (Getty Images)
Elías Camhaji

U.S. authorities have recovered the bodies of two of the six Hispanic workers who went missing after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. They have been identified as Alejandro Hernández Fuentes, a 35-year-old citizen of Mexico, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, a native of Guatemala, rescue teams confirmed on Wednesday.

Both men worked for the construction company Brawner Builders and were fixing potholes on the bridge when a cargo ship crashed into one of the structure’s pillars in the early hours of Tuesday. Locating the remaining four victims will be complicated because security forces said it is no longer safe for divers to continue searching the accident area. “Because of the superstructure surrounding what we believe are the vehicles, and the amount of concrete and debris, divers are no longer able to safely navigate or operate around that. We firmly believe the vehicles are encased in the superstructure and concrete that we tragically saw come down,” said Maryland Police Superintendent Roland Butler said Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard stated Tuesday that the chances of finding the six missing workers alive were minimal due to the temperature of the water and the time that had elapsed since the bridge’s collapse. “At this point, we do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said.

A co-worker who knew the victims said that Hernández Fuentes and Castillo Cabrera were taking a break from work and sitting in their vehicle to shelter from the cold when the bridge collapsed, according to a testimony released by the Associated Press. “The bodies of both workers were found inside a red pick-up type vehicle,” reported the Guatemalan consulate in Maryland. The authorities of the Central American country regretted the death in a statement and have asked for respect for the families’ grief. Butler said the bodies were recovered around 10 a.m., and that the car was submerged in about 25 feet of water around the bridge’s middle span. The victims’ relatives were notified in person.

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said in his Wednesday morning press conference that there were two Mexicans missing in the accident, while another one had survived. Only two workers were rescued from the waters of the Patapsco River on Tuesday. López Obrador said that there was an open line of communication with the families of the victims and assured that they would receive consular support from Mexican authorities in the area.

The four workers who have not yet been located are from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The Honduran man has been identified as Maynor Suazo, 37, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Central American country. He is a father of three and had been in the United States for almost two decades after his family moved there from the Honduran region of Santa Barbara. The Salvadoran man is Miguel Luna, a father of three, according to information confirmed by the Salvadoran Foreign Ministry. “President Nayib Bukele has made all support and accompaniment available to the Luna family,” said Alexandra Hill, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Guatemalan and Mexican governments have declined to release the names of their missing citizens.

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