Survivor of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Couldn’t Swim. Wife Says It’s a Miracle.

Survivor of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Couldn’t Swim. Wife Says It’s a Miracle.

In the early hours of a seemingly ordinary Tuesday, the Francis Scott Key Bridge, a structure that has long stood as a symbol of Baltimore’s resilience, experienced a catastrophic collapse. The incident unfolded when the Dali cargo ship, experiencing a malfunction that caused its lights to flicker, crashed into one of the bridge’s support pillars. This event led to a significant portion of the bridge plummeting into the Patapsco River below, marking a tragic moment in the city’s history.

At the time of the collapse, eight construction workers were on the bridge, taking a break in their vehicles. Among them was Julio Cervantes, who, despite not knowing how to swim, miraculously survived the ordeal. His wife recounted the harrowing moments when the bridge gave way, noting the fortuitous timing that the workers were in their cars rather than in a more vulnerable position on the bridge itself. Cervantes sustained a chest wound but was released from the hospital on the same day, a testament to his remarkable survival.

The immediate aftermath of the collapse saw a frantic rescue operation. While Cervantes and another worker were rescued, the search efforts led to the recovery of two of their colleagues the following day. Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, whose lives were tragically cut short, were found in a submerged red pickup truck, a somber reminder of the event’s gravity.

The incident has cast a spotlight on the safety of infrastructure and the unpredictable nature of such disasters. The bridge, a key artery for the region, not only facilitated local commutes but also played a crucial role in the area’s supply chain. Its sudden collapse has raised concerns about the broader implications for the community and the economy, prompting President Joe Biden to pledge a swift reconstruction effort.

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation to unravel the series of events that led to this calamity. This inquiry is expected to span one to two years, aiming to provide answers and ensure that such a tragedy does not recur. As the city reels from this event, the resilience of its people is once again put to the test, echoing the very essence of the bridge that once stood proudly over the Patapsco River.