Author Topic: Bridge falls into Mississippi River  (Read 3331 times)

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Offline pmp6nl

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Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« on: August 01, 2007, 08:37:48 pm »
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Bridge falls into Mississippi River

By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer

The entire span of an interstate bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour Wednesday, sending vehicles, tons of concrete and twisted metal crashing into the water.

The Interstate 35W bridge, a major link between Minneapolis and St. Paul, was in the midst of being repaired when it broke into several huge sections.

"There were two lanes of traffic, bumper to bumper, at the point of the collapse. Those cars did go into the river," Minneapolis Police Lt. Amelia Huffman. "At this point there is nothing to suggest that this was anything other than a structural collapse."

The Homeland Security Department had received no indications Wednesday night that the collapse was related to an act of terrorism, department spokesman Russ Knocke said in Washington.

"At this time, there's no indication of a nexus to terrorism," Knocke said.

It was not clear how many people were injured. WCCO-AM reported that one body was seen being pulled from the area, covered with a blue sheet.

An estimated 50 vehicles plunged into the water and onto the land below, the Star-Tribune reported.

A burning truck and a school bus clung to one slanted slab,

The bus had just crossed the bridge before it crumpled into pieces, and broadcast reports indicated the children on the bus exited out the back door.

Ramon Houge told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he was on his way home from work on the bridge when he heard a rumbling noise, saw the ground collapse and cars go down.

Traffic was bumper to bumper and hundreds of people would have been involved, he said. He said cars backed up as best they could and he parked in a construction zone and was finally able to turn around and drive off the bridge. "It didn't seem like it was real," he said.

Dozens of vehicles were scattered and stacked on top of each other amid the rubble. Some people were stranded on parts of the bridge that aren't completely in the water.

Local television stations captured video of injured people being carried up the riverbank. There was no official word on injuries, but dozens of rescue vehicles were there. Divers were also in the water.

Gregory Wernick Sr., Rockford, Ill., drove over the bridge shortly before the collapse. He stopped to get a drink nearby and heard commotion so he went back.

"I figure I crossed about 10 minutes before it happened," he said. "That's just too close to call."

He was standing about 200 feet away on top of a parking ramp with large group of people.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said.

The arched bridge, which was built in 1967, rises about 64 feet above the river. Workers have been repairing the 40-year-old bridge's surface as part of improvements along that stretch of the interstate, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on its Web site.


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Offline JakeJZG

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 12:25:17 am »
Just saw that on the news, Shepard Smith was losing his cookies.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 12:35:09 am »
We are lucky it was not a lot worse.
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Offline JakeJZG

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 12:46:11 am »
I almost drove across that bridge yesterday - apparently they were resurfacing?
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 12:52:09 am »
I almost drove across that bridge yesterday - apparently they were resurfacing?

Oh shit....

I heard they were doing something to it.

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Offline JakeJZG

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 04:35:30 am »
From what AM Coast to Coast (hey, driving at night here people) updated my weary mind, something like 60 cars may have gone into the water into something like 4 feet of muck and very silty waters.  Being what carpooling is in Minneapolis as well as it being right before the ball game...
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 08:09:04 am »
I was reminded at about 11 last night that my girlfriend was in Minneapolis yesterday.  I'm so glad I hadn't remembered that when I found out--I would have been freaking out all night...
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Offline JakeJZG

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 08:20:52 am »
Glad to hear she is OK.  Let's hope that the number doesn't rise above 9.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2007, 10:29:22 am »
Its really too bad when things like this happen.

I heard somewhere that they said engineers (or the like) had told them that the bridge was not safe, some time ago.
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Offline zman

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2007, 11:20:22 am »
I hope the numbers do not get worse as they continue the search today.  :icon_pale:

Offline JakeJZG

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Re: Bridge falls into Mississippi River
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2007, 03:46:57 pm »
Holy crap - they have video of the initial breakup.  Technology.
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