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Bridge Collapses Into Mississippi River During Rush Hour in Minneapolis

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Bridge Collapses Into Mississippi River During Rush Hour in Minneapolis

08-01-2007 8:23 PM

By PAT CONDON

Associated Press Writer

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AP Photo Watch Related Video

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Minn. Bridge Collapses Sending Cars Into Water

U.S. Video

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PHOTO GALLERY

Bridge Collapse

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

The Interstate 35W bridge, which spans between Minneapolis and St. Paul, was under construction when it broke into several huge sections.

It was not clear how many people were injured. A burning truck and a school bus clung to one slanted slab, while at least eight cars and a truck were submerged in the river.

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.

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

"We continue to monitor the situation. At this time, there's no indication of a nexus to terrorism," Knocke said.

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NO. this is not tight to those that call this place home.

there are 9 and 10 year olds trapped in a school bus.

please pray for our familes if you pray.

otherwise, use some common sense before you post.

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don't worry everybody, i'm ok. not that you cared.

 

 

anyways.

 

i live literally a stones throw from there, its total fucking chaos around there. this is totally gonna fuck up our cities traffic for a long time, its such a major area right there for 2 interstates meeting and a ton of other highways around it.

 

i'm waiting to hear from all my friends to know they are ok.

 

BRIDGES FTW.

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terrible. i hear 3 confirmed dead so far, that'll definatly go up tho.

 

hopefully those that need help, get it before more lives are lost.

 

i'm also willing to bet that the immediate histeria over terrorism definatly didn't help responding to this, among other things.

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oh yeah, you must paint graffiti uh dog? damn, well i guess if you say so then i should post my titties up on 12oz.

 

Below is what I got from the Mpls, StarTribune.

 

The Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour Wednesday, dumping at least eight cars and a truck into the water and onto the land below, creating a horrific scene of damage, fire, smoke, injuries, frantic rescuers and terrified motorists.

It was not clear how many people might be hurt or killed, but witnesses said at least 20 cars were involved.

 

Multiple trauma victims -- some in critical condition -- have been taken to Hemmpein County Medical Center.

 

The crumpled green wreckage of the bridge lay on the east bank of the river, and a huge section of concrete roadway lay on the west bank. Down below in the river gorge, rescue workers scrambled to help people on the roadway that now lay in the gorge. Fires burned and black smoke rose billowed the wreckage.

 

Workers have been repairing the 40-year-old bridge’s surface as part of improvements along that stretch of the interstate.

 

Rescue workers were helping some people from cars in the river onto land.

 

People at the scene said the entire bridge collapsed, leaving part of the roadway submerged and part above water.

 

A number of people were walking around on the roadway that was not submerged.

 

Ramon Houge of St. Paul, was on his way home from work at Wells Fargo and was driving on the bridge when heard a rumbling noise, saw the ground collapse and cars go down. 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. Traffic was bumper to bumper and hundreds of people would have been involved, he said, adding that he saw kids on a bus with blood on their faces.

 

Sarah Fahnhorst, who lives in an apartment a block away from the bridge, heard a huge thud and then “the entire building shook. It shook the ground.”

 

Emergency calls began flooding into Minneapolis' 911 center about people and cars dumped into the Mississippi River.

 

"Everybody's pretty much saying the same thing: That there's some people in the water" said Tashia Brown, a 911 operator.

 

She said one 911 caller said she could see the construction workers using a jackhammers when the bridge collapsed close to her car. "She saw it and she said she just gunned it and just made it out of there," Brown said.

 

Minneapolis police and fire, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota State Patrol and other agencies were responding.

 

Some callers were requesting ambulances, others said they had slight injuries but didn't know how to get off the bridge.

 

Amidst the rescue efforts, the Minnesota State Patrol said at 7 p.m. that the cause of the bridge collapse remained undetermined.

 

Traffic was being stopped at University Avenue from the North and Washington Avenue from the South.

 

The State Patrol was setting up a command post.

 

The arched bridge, which was built in 1967, rises about 64 feet above the river.

 

The collapse occurred at the end of rush hour, when cars were bumper to bumper in traffic, many trying to get to the Twins game, which was scheduled to be begin at 7:10 p.m. at the nearby Metrodome.

 

Area law enforcement, including the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, had launched at least three boats to help with the rescues

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pics will come tomorrow.

 

i'm not even trying to go around that mess right now, thats the last thing they need is more spectators. plus its supposed to starting raining any minute, sucks for the workers and the whole situation.

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i just called my cousin and thank god hes ok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

he lives in Seattle

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jesus, spreadaids.

no need to blow shit up when you're in a bad mood..

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