Response begins after Minneapolis bridge collapse
| 08.02.2007 | 09:27:08 | Views: 2746 | ID:
August 2 '07: The Associated Press reported Minneapolis police officials have said at least seven people died when a bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during rush-hour traffic. Authorities have not said what caused the crash, though they did rule out foul play. Reuters said the eight-lane bridge served as a major artery for the city and that the collapse happened while the bridge was under renovations.
Response operations are underway to save those injured and to collect those who died in the collapse. A video aired by CNN showed the bridge collapsing while loaded down with cars. Rescue authorities have said that response operations are slow because the rubble from the bridge is still settling, while at the same time being moved by the currents from the river.The Minneapolis Star Tribune detailed the response and recovery operational logistics facing first responders: "Tons of submerged concrete, twisted rebar, crumpled cars and the swirl of treacherous currents ... But the biggest hazard of all is the surviving structure of the Interstate 35W bridge." Continuing, the Star reported, "Side-scan sonar and GPS systems will help divers and workers pinpoint location of victims trapped in cars in about 7 feet of water." The AP found that divers were taking digital photos of car license plates and then sending them to databases to locate the drivers' identities. Additionally, Gov. Tim Pawlenty "also ordered an immediate inspection of all bridges in the state with similar designs," the AP reported.
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