Fourth body recovered during salvage, recovery operations at Key Bridge collapse site

BALTIMORE - A fourth body was recovered Sunday from inside a submerged vehicle at the site of the Key Bridge collapse, according to the Unified Command.

The victim has not been identified at the request of the family.

One of the missing construction vehicles was located in the river, and inside was a person who had been trapped.

A cargo ship, the Dali, crashed into the Key Bridge around 1:30 a.m. on March 26, knocking eight construction workers into the Patapsco River. They were repairing potholes on the bridge.

Two construction workers were rescued, and now four have been recovered. Two remain missing and are presumed dead.

Prayers for Key Bridge victims

"Maryland continues to pray for the families and loved ones affected by this tragedy. They have our thoughts, our hearts, and our support," Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said. "We hope that everyone will respect the request of the family for privacy during this difficult time. As we continue to recover those who have perished, may we never forget them, their loved ones, and the commitment they made to work in a profession that bettered the lives of so many Marylanders across the state."

Crews previously recovered the bodies of 35-year-old Maynor Yasir Suazo-Sandoval, 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, and 26-year-old Dorlian Castillo Cabrera. 

"Our hearts continue to break for the loved ones of these victims," Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said. "Our entire city remains with them, joining them in mourning and in healing now that one more of their loved ones has been brought home. For those still waiting, we join them in their hope and grief that they will have the same closure soon. As I have said from the very first moment, we will continue to do everything in our power to support these families, and provide whatever they need to persevere through this unthinkable tragedy."

Massive crane lifts Key Bridge debris to Sparrows Point

WJZ got a closer view of the salvage operation in Sparrows Point on Monday where pieces of the Key Bridge are being taken for disposal.

The biggest piece of debris so far is a span that weighs more than 400 tons.

BALTIMORE, MD -APRIL 15:   Cranes work to remove sections of the Key Bridge that are blocking the Chanel into the Port of Baltimore. The FBI has  opened a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the Key Bridge after it was struck by the Dali. Officials board the boat on April 15, 2024. / Credit: Jonathan Newton/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The massive Chesapeake 1,000 crane lifted it to Sparrows Point over the weekend.

"This is our processing yard where all the materials that are removed from the river are brought by barge and crane, very large pieces of material," said James Harkness, the chief engineer working for the Maryland Transportation Authority. "When they brought it in yesterday, they had to cut it in half because it was about 90 feet tall."

Cutting Key Bridge down to size

Welders cut the pieces into an even more manageable size. Crews are also using hydraulic shears.

Responders said every effort is being made to recycle the steel.

The government requires every big ship—including the Dali—to have a designated responder in case a disaster like this happens. In this case, that job was assigned to Resolve Marine.

"Immediately when this happened, we were activated and had people on scene within hours," Resolve Marine CEO Joseph Farrell said.

What's the Dali's damage?

Resolve Marine CEO Joseph Farrell said when the Key Bridge collapsed onto the Dali, it severed the bow of the ship "pretty good."

"When the bridge came down it severed the bow, the front of the ship, pretty good—so a lot of the systems were cut. Wiring to the bow thruster has been severed," Ferrell said.

Farrell said the Dali currently has power. His crew is trying to get the bow thruster working again. It makes the ship easier to maneuver once they remove enough containers to move the ship.

Farrell said they have removed 40 containers, and he believes getting 140 in total off the ship may be enough.

He said the work will not interfere with the FBI and NTSB investigations and credits the Unified Command with keeping everything organized.

"There's a lot of clarity exactly as to where our role is, and we work with every agency. It allows everybody to plug into that and not step on each other's toes," he said.

"There's a lot of debris. There's rebar. There's concrete"

Divers remain in the water daily, and visibility is often next to zero in the muddy Patapsco.

"There's a lot of debris. There's rebar. There's concrete. For a first dive, we don't know what dangers are down there, so we have to be very methodical and slow with that. We have something called an umbilical which feeds the diver's air supply to the diver's helmet," said Robyn Bianchi with DonJon Marine.

This weekend she told WJZ that divers are mindful that several victims have yet to be recovered. Shortly after that interview, responders recovered the fourth victim from the water.

"As we mourn the lives lost and continue the recovery operation, we recognize each missing individual is someone's beloved friend or family member," said Colonel Roland L. Butler, Jr., Superintendent of the Maryland Department of State Police, "Along with all of our allied law enforcement partners, we pledge to exhaust the physical and technical aspects of their training while deploying every available resource possible."

Cargo unloaded at TradePoint Atlantic

Nearby at TradePoint Atlantic—the only place near the Port of Baltimore where larger ships can currently dock—cargo is getting unloaded including many new cars. That keeps jobs in Baltimore.

"We're actually able to make sure this cargo stays in Baltimore because there are other ports that are interested in helping, but that also means that cargo could go permanently to a different port, so we are thankful to be able to help with some of that redirected cargo," said Kristin King of TradePoint Atlantic.

Baltimore City to sue cargo ship's owner

Baltimore City is taking legal action against entities it deems responsible for the deadly collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, and the FBI has opened an investigation into the disaster. 

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott on Monday announced the city partnered with two high-profile trial law firms to take legal action against those responsible for the tragedy, including the ship's owner, charterer, operator, manufacturer and other parties.

The mayor said the effort is to mitigate the immediate and long-term harm caused to Baltimore's residents, like the families of the victims, workers in the Port of Baltimore, and those who used the bridge every day. It is not clear how much in damages the city seeks.

"We are continuing to do everything in our power to support everyone impacted here and will continue to recognize the human impact this event has had," the mayor said in a statement. "Part of that work needs to be seeking recourse from those who may potentially be responsible, and with the ship's owner filing a petition to limit its liability mere days after the incident, we need to act equally as quickly to protect the City's interests."

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