Man who crossed Baltimore bridge seconds before ship crash says he's 'lucky' to be alive

Authorities in Baltimore are still urgently trying to re-open shipping lanes after the collapse of a bridge that was struck by a cargo vessel. ITV News US Correspondent Dan Rivers reports

A man who was one of the last people to cross a Baltimore bridge before it was hit by a ship and crumbled into the sea has spoke of his relief at escaping unharmed.

Last week, Larry DeSantis was driving over the Francis Scott Key Bridge to work - the same journey he has made for 17 years.

But seconds after he made it to the other side, a 948-foot long cargo ship smashed into the structure, causing it to plummet into the water.

Authorities believe six workers plunged to their deaths in the collapse, including two whose bodies were recovered last week.

Mr DeSantis driving to work, following the now detoured route, after the collapse of the bridge. Credit: ITV News

Mr DeSantis told ITV News: "It could have been me. I might not be talking to you right now or anybody.

"It's hard, it happened a week ago and it's really sunk in now. I see that I could have died.

"It felt real eerie, something didn't seem right.

"Those poor workers, you know, their families it's hard, I'm probably one of the last people to have seen them.

"I could have been under that if I had been just a minute late. I'm lucky to be here."

Mr DeSantis arrived at the bakery where he works night shifts unaware of what had happened right behind him.

Now, his colleagues believe he's blessed or lucky, and are asking to touch him.

"Older people think I am blessed, people very religious, if it helps them I have no problem... somebody was looking out for me that's all I'm saying," he said.

Construction crews are currently undertaking the complicated work of removing steel and concrete at the site of the crash.

The US Coast Guard has opened a temporary, alternate channel for vessels involved in clearing debris as part of a phased approach to opening the main shipping channel leading to the port, officials said Monday.

The temporary channel is primarily for vessels which are helping with the cleanup effort.

Some barges and tugs, which have been stuck in the Port of Baltimore since the collapse, are also scheduled to pass through the channel.

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