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Key Bridge Collapses, Killing Six  

By Cristina Damato  

On March 26th, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, MD, collapsed after it was struck by the cargo ship Dali. The ship had reported losing power and control, and the bridge fell seconds after the collision. Two of the eight workers filling potholes at the time survived after being pulled from the water. Three others, 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 26-year-old Dorlian Ronial Castillo, and 38-year-old Maynor Yasir Suazo-Sandoval’s bodies were found over the span of several days. The other two are still missing and presumed dead, as the water below the bridge is murky and difficult to search.


According to WBAL-TV, a vigil was held April 6 in South Baltimore near a memorial created by the community, which included a mural and decorated crosses. Fernando Sajche, a local who helped build the memorial, said, “Miguel Luna, he has a food truck in Glen Burnie. We always buy there, so we kind of see him every week. Once we [heard] he was one of the guys, it was hard for us, like, unbelievable.”  

This catastrophe has raised questions about a possible lack of safety precautions on the part of the construction company, Brawner. For instance, federal regulations require a small boat called a skiff to be present in the water while people are working over water. In this situation, there is no evidence of such skiffs, though it is unclear the extent to which they would have helped.  

The White House has announced that it wants the federal government to cover 100% of cleanup and reconstruction costs, but many believe that this is unlikely to pass in Congress.  

President Biden went to Baltimore to circle the wreckage of the bridge and speak with the families of the workers. He said, “The damage is devastating, and our hearts are still breaking” and added, “Your nation has your back, and I mean it.”  

From an economic standpoint, local and regional businesses will be affected as one of the busiest ports in the United States remains incapacitated. To ease the burden, a low-interest loan program has been launched to help businesses, and it has already received over 500 applicants. The purpose of this is to keep Baltimore’s companies afloat, but also to lessen the ripple effects that will be felt up and down the East Coast.

The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopes to open a limited access channel within a month and a permanent channel in two but recognizes that this is “ambitious.”  

Aside from the logistical and economic complications, this is above all a human disaster. Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott summed it up with, “…my heart continues to be with all the families still waiting anxiously for their loved ones.” 


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