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Baltimore bridge collapse: Wife of survivor say it's a 'miracle' husband survived' because he can't swim

The wife of one of the eight construction workers who was on the Francis Scott Key Bridge when it collapsed has said "it's a miracle he survived" because he can't swim.

Julio Cervantes was on the 1.6-mile-long structure when it crashed into the Patapsco River after being struck by a huge container ship in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mr Cervantes and another man were rescued the same day.

The rescue mission turned into a recovery operation when they were presumed dead on Tuesday night. The bodies of two of them were found on Wednesday while the remaining four have still not been found.

Mr Cervantes' wife, who did not want to give her name, told Sky News's US partner network NBC News: "All of the men were on a break in their cars when the boat hit.

"We don't know if they were warned before the impact... my husband doesn't know how to swim. It is a miracle he survived."

It emerged after the disaster that personnel on board the ship were able to alert the Maryland Department of Transportation that they had lost control of their vessel.

This meant local authorities were able to get close to the bridge before it was struck, with US President Joe Biden saying this "undoubtedly saved lives".

Mr Cervantes was taken to hospital with a chest wound on Tuesday and was released the same day.

The other worker rescued was in good condition and refused treatment.

The remains of Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, and Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, were recovered in the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday morning.

They were found in a red truck trapped under 25ft of water near what was once the middle of the bridge.

Read more:
Two possible causes for the catastrophe
Baltimore has 'very long road ahead'

Mr Cervantes' wife said that her brother-in-law was one of the two men whose bodies were recovered, but did not share his name.

She said her entire family is of Mexican origin, and her nephew is among those still missing.

"We haven't been able to sleep, waiting for word if they're going to find a relative," she said.

It came as Maryland Governor Wes Moore warned of a "very long road ahead" to recover from the loss of the bridge as the Biden administration approved $60m in immediate federal aid.

Massive barges carrying cranes are in the process of removing twisted metal and concrete as a first step toward reopening a key shipping route blocked by the wreckage.

Mr Moore promised that "the best minds in the world" were working on plans to clear the debris, move the cargo ship that rammed into the bridge from the channel, recover the bodies of the four remaining workers presumed dead and investigate what went wrong.

An investigation into what caused the crash and subsequent bridge collapse is under way by the National Transportation Safety Board. It is anticipated to take up to two years.