After a vessel caused a bridge in Baltimore to collapse, a survivor talked about how he faced danger head-on, saw the vessel approach him, and miraculously lived. Sadly, other victims did not see the same fate.

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The scene where a container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, MD as seen from a plane on March 26, 2024 | Source: Instagram/vanhoutenphoto

The scene where a container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, MD as seen from a plane on March 26, 2024 | Source: Instagram/vanhoutenphoto

In a tragic turn of events that has left the Maryland community in shock, the Baltimore Bridge’s collapse led to injuries and fatalities. Amidst ongoing search and rescue operations, a survivor spoke with Governor Wes Moore about the harrowing incident.

Moore recounted the survivor’s tale, emphasizing the narrow escape from what could have been a fatal outcome. Moore shared, “It was a pretty remarkable conversation, where, as he said, ‘But for the grace of God that he was there.'”

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Aerial shot of the Port of Baltimore at sunset. In the distance, the Key Bridge stretches across the river | Source: Getty Images

Aerial shot of the Port of Baltimore at sunset. In the distance, the Key Bridge stretches across the river | Source: Getty Images

The survivor, whose identity remains confidential, talked about the moments before the tragedy and how close he physically was to being a casualty, “because when you saw the moments between when the crew called for a Mayday and the moments that the bridge actually collapsed, we’re talking seconds.”

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“The individual actually shared with me that he did see the ship, that it was coming,” Moore added. Reflecting on the conversation, Moore concluded, “It really is pretty miraculous when you consider what happened and the speed and the intensity at which it happened last night.”

The collapse set off an extensive search and rescue operation, a testament to the immediacy with which federal, state, and local Maryland communities rallied to support the recovery efforts.

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Helicopters became a familiar sight, circling overhead every half hour or so, while divers and coast guards scoured the waters below, all hands working tirelessly to locate and assist the victims.

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Of the eight construction workers known directly impacted by the tragedy, one individual was swiftly transported to a facility specializing in shock trauma, where they received care for injuries sustained during the collapse. The other notable survivor is the individual who shared their experience.

The bridge, a site of routine maintenance aimed at improving transportation safety, had been familiar ground for the workers who filled its potholes and witnessed the nightly passage of ships. The appearance of the vessel on that fateful day, however, with its imposing size and rapid approach, signaled an extraordinary event.

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The accident was reported earlier this week, when tragedy struck Baltimore after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Maryland, after a collision with a container vessel. The incident occurred in the early morning of Tuesday, March 26.

According to sources, the 984-foot cargo ship hit the pillar of the bridge, causing it to go under. Moments before the disaster, the ship issued a mayday call in a bid to let authorities know of the impending danger after losing its power. And now, the audio from the first responder has been unearthed.

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The call was directed to the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Dispatch and Response officials. In the audio, the official could be heard detailing what was happening, saying that the ship had lost its steering and all traffic had to be stopped.

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They then instructed the officials to hold off traffic on the bridge and ensure no one was on it. “There’s a crew up there… You might want to notify the foreman to see if we can get them off the bridge temporarily,” the official said.

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Moments later, another voice is heard saying they would grab the workers. Sadly, it was a little too late, and the bridge went down. Then, a voice was heard saying:

“The whole bridge just fell down. Start, start whoever… everybody. The whole bridge just collapsed.”

Photo capture of the Francis Scott Key Bridge before the cargo vessel collided with it on March 26, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Photo capture of the Francis Scott Key Bridge before the cargo vessel collided with it on March 26, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Sadly, six people who were part of a road construction crew, as well as vehicles that were already well on the 1.6-mile bridge, were plunged into the river upon the collision. Authorities have since started a rescue mission which has now become a recovery operation after the group — one of whom has been identified as Miguel Luna, from El Salvador — is presumed dead.

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Maryland Governor Wes Moore spoke to CBS News regarding the families of the victims and the survivors, disclosing that they were “distraught and heartbroken.” He revealed that he had a chance to sit with them and could tell they were prayerful and hopeful.

Moore retaliated that he has been in contact with the families of those lost in the catastrophe, praying with and for them, “They also wanted to remind me that these were husbands, fathers, [and] brothers.”

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Investigations are ongoing to determine what went wrong with the vessel. Still, President Joe Biden has weighed in on the matter, terming the tragedy “a terrible accident.”

On Wednesday, following an exhaustive daylong search, authorities announced that the rescue mission for the six construction workers involved in the Baltimore Bridge Collapse would be halted, with the workers now presumed dead.

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Maryland State Police revealed that two bodies were recovered from a pickup truck submerged in the icy waters. Given the perilous conditions—frigid temperatures in 50-foot-deep waters and the risk posed by sharp debris in the murky depths—it was deemed virtually impossible for anyone to survive after several hours.

Moreover, the hazardous environment rendered it too dangerous for divers to continue their search. The six construction workers, who hailed from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala, represented a cross-section of hopes and dreams cut tragically short by the disaster.

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Among the casualties was a devoted husband and father of three, Miguel Luna, who had called Maryland his home for over 19 years. Setting out for work at 6:30 p.m. on the day of the collapse, Luna never returned, leaving his family in a state of despair.

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His wife, María del Carmen Castellón, expressed her devastation, saying, “They only tell us that we have to wait, that right now they cannot give information. [We feel] devastated, devastated because our hearts are broken because we don’t know how they have been rescued yet. We are just waiting for the news.”

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A colleague, Jesús Campos, shared his heartache: “It hurts my heart to see what is happening. We are human beings and they are my coworkers,” highlighting the emotional toll on the survivor community.

Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, another victim of the collapse, had emigrated from Santa Bárbara in Honduras to the United States 18 years prior, driven by the pursuit of a better life for his family.

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At 38, Sandoval was a husband and father to two children and had also ventured into entrepreneurship by starting a maintenance company. His brother, Martin Suazo, recounted the agonizing wait for news and the family’s resolve to repatriate Sandoval’s body to Honduras, emphasizing the collective mourning of a community spanning Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

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Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, from Guatemala, represented another life cut tragically short by the disaster. Having worked for Brawner Builders for at least three years, Cabrera was passionate about his job.

His sister-in-law, Pima Castillo, described him as a man who loved his work deeply, yet was not married and had no children. His story, like those of his fellow workers, underscores the loss of individuals who were integral to the fabric of their communities.

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