Final Body Found Following Bridge Collapse in Baltimore

Final Body Found Following Bridge Collapse in Baltimore

( – The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, opened to traffic on March 23, 1977. Three days after its 47th anniversary, the cargo ship Dali hit one of the structure’s support beams, sending it careening into the harbor below. Eight road workers were on the bridge when it collapsed. Two survived, and six died. Authorities have now found the final body.

On Tuesday, May 7, Baltimore officials revealed that salvage crews had located the remains of the final person missing in the collapse. Officials identified the victim as 37-year-old José Mynor López. Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. of the Maryland Department of State Police said the discovery “marks a significant milestone in [the city’s] recovery efforts” and would help to “provid[e] closure to the loved ones of the six workers” who died in the tragedy.

River currents pushed the Dali into the bridge support after the vessel lost power and steering, causing the bridge to collapse. Crew onboard were able to notify city officials quickly enough to stop traffic on both sides of the bridge. However, authorities didn’t warn the road workers on the structure.

In the weeks since the collapse, salvage crews have worked to clear the bay of debris from the bridge. The cargo ship is still part of the wreckage, with crew members onboard. A huge piece of the bridge remained embedded in the vessel’s bow. Officials plan to use explosives to remove it by placing charges on the truss and having the staff onboard shelter in place. Unified Command officials have deemed this the safest and most effective way to remove the bridge piece, more effective than trying to saw through it.

The city will rebuild the bridge once workers remove all of the debris from the bay. A team comprised of a construction firm, structural engineer, and design firm has presented a proposal for the new construct, tentatively named Gateway to America: A New Bridge for Baltimore. It is a cable-stayed design that accounts for and addresses the cause of the collapse and enlarges the main span, positioning the support pillars in shallow water, away from large ships.

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