Two bodies recovered from Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster in Baltimore

Four more workers who were on the bridge when it collapsed are still missing and presumed dead.

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed following a collision with a container ship [Roberto Schmidt/AFP]

Divers have recovered the bodies of two construction workers killed in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, the United States.

US authorities on Wednesday found the workers’ remains in a red pick-up truck that was thrown into the mouth of the Patapsco River a day earlier when the Singapore-flagged Dali container ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The two men were identified as Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, who was originally from Mexico, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, originally from Guatemala.

Four more workers who were filling potholes on the bridge are still missing and presumed dead. Two other workers were pulled from the water alive after the collapse early Tuesday.

Maryland State Police Colonel Roland Butler said the truck containing the workers’ bodies was located in about 7.6 metres (25 feet) of water near the mid-section of the collapsed bridge.

Butler said authorities had shifted to a salvage operation after sonar indicated that more vehicles were trapped within the concrete and twisted steel debris of the bridge.

“Based on sonar scans, we firmly believe that the vehicles are encased in the superstructure and concrete that we tragically saw come down,” Butler told a news conference.

US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said authorities had learned that the ship underwent routine engine maintenance in the port before the disaster.

“As far as the engine goes, we were not informed of any problems with the vessel,” he said.

Singapore’s port authority has said the ship passed overseas inspections and had valid certificates covering its structural integrity and equipment functionality at the time of the collision.

Earlier on Wednesday, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board boarded the Dali to begin interviewing crew members of the stricken vessel, which remains at the scene of the disaster with parts of the mangled bridge across its bow.

“We were informed that they were going to conduct routine engine maintenance on it while it was in port. And that’s the only thing we were informed about the vessel in that regard.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies