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GoFundMe tops $98k for families of Baltimore bridge collapse victims

A fundraiser for the families of the victims of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse has garnered nearly $100,000, just days after the tragedy.

The GoFundMe page had raised over $98,000 by Thursday morning.

The fundraiser, organised by the volunteer group Latino Racial Justice Circle, explained that the cash would be “distributed directly” to the “families of the victims” of the bridge collapse.

Eight construction workers, employed by Brawners Builders, were filling potholes in the early hours of 26 March, when the Dali container ship lost power and rammed into the bridge, causing them to fall into the Patapsco River.

While early search efforts led to the safe rescue of two men, six others were killed in the accident.

All of the missing men from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Col Roland Butler Jr of Maryland State Police said at a press conference.

The organisers of the fundraiser wrote, “We know that the 6 victims were all Latino immigrants,” some of whom “were supporting partners and children in the Southeast Baltimore and Dundalk communities.”

“As they move forward with their shock and grief, the families will need support with basic needs, such as rent, groceries, and utilities,” they wrote.

The organizers wrote that they received the $98,000 in less than nine hours. Given the rapid influx of funds, the group decided to close the fundraiser so that the volunteers could “focus on getting the funds…out to the families.”

If others would like to contribute, the organizers said they should donate to the fundraiser set up by the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

A representative for Baltimore Civic Fund, which is collecting the funds, told The Independent that the fund began on Wednesday at 4pm and as of Thursday afternoon, it had received 1,529 donations totaling more than $114,000.

The search for the missing men has turned up grave results.

On Wednesday Mr Butler announced a “tragic finding”: two bodies trapped inside of a red pickup truck that had been submerged in the river.

Officials identified the bodies as belonging to Dorlian Ronial Castillo Cabrera, 26, and Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35.

Two other missing men have been identified so far.

Miguel Luna, 49, and Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, 38, were also identified by family members. Their bodies have not been found as of Thursday afternoon.

Brawner Builders employee Jesus Campos Campos told The Baltimore Banner, “They are all hard-working, humble men.”

The cause of the crash is still being investigated.