UNITED STATES

Fathers, entrepreneurs among presumed dead after Baltimore bridge collapse

Mar 27, 2024, 10:58 AM | Updated: 2:03 pm

Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval (left) is survived by a wife and two children, his brother said. (Cred...

(CNN) — They worked the overnight shift fixing potholes on a famed bridge that 30,000 Marylanders relied on every day. But their work ended in tragedy Tuesday morning when a 213-million-pound cargo vessel crashed into the bridge, plunging the construction workers into the dangerously cold water below.

After a day-long search, officials called off the rescue mission and said the workers are presumed dead. It was virtually impossible to survive the frigid, 50-foot-deep water after several hours, and it was too dangerous for divers to navigate the dark water amid sharp debris.

Now the families of the six victims are mourning their loved ones, whose bodies have not been found. These are some of their stories:

A father of 2 who juggled multiple jobs

Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, 38, was one of the construction workers who vanished after the bridge collapse, his brother Martin Suazo told CNN.

Family members in Baltimore called Martin Suazo early Tuesday morning to tell him his brother was missing, Suazo said.

Maynor Suazo was originally from Santa Bárbara in Honduras but moved to the US in search of a better life, his brother said. Maynor had lived in the US for the past 18 years. He was married with two children – an 18-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, Martin Suazo said.

In addition to working as a construction worker, Sandoval was also an entrepreneur who started a maintenance company, his brother said.

Suazo, who lives in Honduras, said his family is grateful for the support they have received from the FBI, the Honduran Embassy in Washington and the governor of Maryland, who has promised to do all he can to find and recover the bodies.

Suazo said his family was holding on to hope that his brother would be found alive. But now, they just hope his body can be recovered so they can feel a sense of closure.

A father of 3 who called Maryland home for 19 years

ReMiguel Luna was also on the Francis Scott Key Bridge when it collapsed Tuesday, according to a statement from CASA, a nonprofit that provides critical services to working-class and immigrant families.

“Sadly, we discovered that one of the construction workers involved was a longtime member of our CASA family, adding an even deeper layer of sorrow to this already grievous situation,” CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres said in the statement.

“Miguel Luna, from El Salvador, left at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening for work and … has not come home. He is a husband, a father of three, and has called Maryland his home for over 19 years,” the statement said.

“The entire Baltimore region and CASA family is lamenting this tragedy,” Torres said. “Our hearts ache for the families of the victims and all those impacted by this horrific accident.”

CNN has tried to reach Luna’s family members for more information.

CASA said it is working to provide humanitarian support as families grapple with the tragedy and seek answers about missing loved ones.

Ratneswar Roychowdhury, a frequent customer of Luna’s wife’s food truck, said he last saw Luna pumping gas on Saturday. Since Luna was not fluent in English, they would communicate via a translation app.

“It’s very sad. Having known him for almost one and a half years… it’s quite disheartening for everyone,” Roychowdhury told CNN while standing outside of the food truck in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

“I’m really feeling sorry for his family. He has… family over here and takes care of all of them. It’s quite sad for his family to know that he is missing.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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Fathers, entrepreneurs among presumed dead after Baltimore bridge collapse