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Baltimore bridge collapse: Who are the 6 victims?

Baltimore bridge collapse: Who are the 6 victims?

(NEXSTAR) – When a cargo ship smashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, a group of construction workers were on the span. The search for the missing turned to a “recovery” mission Wednesday, then a “salvage” operation, as officials said two bodies were recovered and four others were presumed dead.

A group of workers filling potholes overnight were sent into the Patapsco River when the bridge collapsed. Two people were rescued Tuesday, but six more were reported missing.

On Wednesday evening, Maryland State Police announced a red pickup truck was found among the underwater wreckage. Inside were two of the trapped victims: 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, from Mexico, and 26-year-old Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, from Guatemala. Four others were still missing and presumed dead.

“At this point, based upon the conditions, we’re now moving from a recovery mode to a salvage operation. Because of the super-structure 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,” Col. Roland L. Butler Jr., superintendent of Maryland State Police, said.

Two of the victims were Mexican nationals, two were from Guatemala, one was from El Salvador and one was from Honduras. All were employed by Brawner Builders.

Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, 38, was identified as one of the victims by his brother. He was the youngest of eight siblings from Azacualpa, a rural mountainous area in northwestern Honduras.

This 2018 photo courtesy of Martin Suazo Sandoval shows Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval after attending a religious service in Baltimore, Maryland. Maynor is one of the missing people who was part of a maintenance crew on the bridge in Baltimore that collapsed, according to his brother Martin. (Martin Suazo Sandoval via AP)
This 2018 photo courtesy of Martin Suazo Sandoval shows Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval after attending a religious service in Baltimore, Maryland. Maynor is one of the missing people who was part of a maintenance crew on the bridge in Baltimore that collapsed, according to his brother Martin. (Martin Suazo Sandoval via AP)

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He had worked as an industrial technician in Honduras, repairing equipment in the large assembly plants, but the pay was too low to get ahead, one of his brothers, Martín Suazo Sandoval, said. Maynor entered the United States illegally and settled in Maryland.

“He always dreamed of having his own business,” his brother said.

Things had been going well for him until the collapse. He was moving through the steps to get legal residency and planned to return to Honduras this year to complete the process, his brother said. He had a wife and two children, ages 17 and 5.

El Salvador’s foreign minister, Alexandra Hill Tinoco, identified one Salvadoran citizen, Miguel Luna, as among the missing workers. Nonprofit CASA described him as a father of three who lived in Maryland for 19 years.

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“Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, left at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening for work and since, has not come home,” the nonprofit, which advocates for workers, said in a statement.

Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed two citizens were missing, but didn’t give their names. In a statement to CNN, the two workers were identified as a 26-year-old from San Luis, Petén and a 35-year-old from Camotán, Chiquimula.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he wouldn’t share the names of the two missing men from his country in order to protect the families’ privacy.

Lives were likely saved by police officers’ quick action when a mayday call came in from the cargo ship, which had just lost power. Police managed to close bridge traffic seconds before the ship slammed into bridge supports. One officer intended to drive onto the bridge and alert the construction crew once backup arrived to block traffic, but there wasn’t enough time.

Some vehicles that had been on the span seemed to escape with just seconds before it collapsed, and police believe the construction workers and two people who were rescued were the only people who went into the water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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