NewsKey Bridge Collapse


Flag raised to honor José López, final recovered collapse victim, at Key Bridge mural

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Posted at 9:33 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 14:40:25-04

HAWKINS POINT, Md. — His name was José López.

He was 35 years old, a native of Guatemala, and a Baltimore resident.

On Tuesday, his memory was at the forefront at a mural near the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse site.

The flag of Guatemala was unfurled, raised high, and drilled to the back of a cross that holds López's photo.

"For us, it means that he's finally out the water," said Bernardo Vargas through a translator. Vargas has worked to honor those lost in the collapse at the mural.

For roughly the last month, the mural has celebrated all of the six bridge collapse victims.

Each time a fallen construction worker is found, the flag of their country of origin goes up on their cross.

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"The family will be really happy to see the flag up, and it will symbolize that he's finally found, and the family can actually rest in knowing that he's safe, finally safe," Vargas said through the translator Tuesday.

A few miles away on the Patapsco, there is notable progress on the bridge this week; as Gov. Wes Moore told reporters Tuesday, controlled explosives will blast away debris from the Dali cargo ship, one step closer to moving it back from the collapse site.

MORE: What's happening this week at the site of the Key Bridge collapse?

"What they're doing are best practices," Moore said, "and historic best practices in the way you remove large amounts of steel. And we know that as soon as that operation, that precision cutting is done, then we also have the tools to be able to remove that steel from water to safely re-float the Dali and re-open up the federal channel."

"With heavy hearts, today marks a significant milestone in our recovery efforts and providing closure to the loved ones of the six workers who lost their lives in this tragic event," said Col. Roland Butler, issuing a statement on López's recovery.

Officials have said the Dali could be out of the wreckage as soon as this week.