US Bridge Collapse


A bridge has collapsed dramatically in Minneapolis, sending cars and people into the Mississippi river below.

Footage shows other vehicles piled on top of each other on top of the bridge.

A train is lying crushed underneath one section of the rubble.

One US news report says a school bus with children onboard stopped just feet away from plunging into the river.

Reports say at least one person has died but that number is expected to rise.

US Homeland Security said there was no reason to believe terrorism was behind the disaster.

It said the department was monitoring the situation.

Witnesses said they heard a roar shortly before the structure disintigrated.,,70131-1278226,00.html


Reported seven dead:
Seven people have died after a freeway bridge over the Mississippi river collapsed in the evening rush hour.

At least 60 were injured when part of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis fell down at 1805 (2305 GMT) on Wednesday.

Fire Chief Jim Clack told reporters seven died as the structure buckled, hurling up to 50 vehicles in the water.

The US Department of Homeland Security said there was no reason to suspect the fall of the bridge, which had been undergoing repairs, was terror-related.

Mr Clack said: "At this point we have seven confirmed fatalities, and we expect that number to go up."

He added that rescuers did not expect to find any more survivors.


The rescue operation was called off as night fell, because darkness made it too dangerous to search the water among mangled steel and submerged cars.

Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak told a news conference: "It will be a very tragic night when it is over."

Traffic had been "bumper-to-bumper" at the time of the incident as only one lane was open in either direction on the eight-lane road because of the construction work on the arched bridge.

Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, told a press conference: "Obviously this is a catastrophe of historic proportions."

He added that the 40-year-old bridge was last inspected in 2006 and no significant structural problems were found.

Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan said officials had accounted for all but one of the construction workers who had been on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

Tons of concrete crashed 64 feet (20 metres) into the water as the interstate bridge crumbled.

A freight train passing underneath was crushed as a 500ft (150m) span of steel and concrete collapsed.

'Huge roar'

Some 60 children were led to safety with only minor injuries from a school bus that clung to the edge of a collapsed section of the structure over the river.

Eyewitnesses said they heard a rumbling sound as the structure fell into the river.

Injured people waited for rescue as vehicles dangled off the crumpled concrete and smoke billowed into the sky from the fiery wreckage of a lorry.

Leone Carstens, a local resident, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper: "First I heard this huge roar.

"I was at my computer. Initially I thought: 'Wow was that an airplane?'"

Divers and rescue boats scoured the water for survivors but the operation had to be called off as night fell because of the amount of debris in the water.

Chris O'Connell, a Minneapolis reporter, told the BBC: "To call this a catastrophe would be an understatement."

Russ Knocke, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, told AFP news agency: "There are no indications of a nexus to terrorism at this time."
Yea, I was watching this most of the night. It's a tragedy but I didn't expect it posted here. I'm still unsure what happened. Apparently one span was being resurfaced but nothing structurally was being worked on. It looks like both spans went down, unless they were linked. I'm thinking maybe the train went off the tracks or something. I hope the bus load of kids are ok. It reminds me of when the Sunshine Skyway (near my home town, Tampa) went down after a freighter rammed it. Deep sorrow for those lives lost.

Reading up and looking at pictures, it seems the train was parked and it was one wide span, not 2 like I thought. From reports, the school children all made it off ok and the 8 missing workers are accounted for. That's a relief at least. From reports that some say a beam in the center gave way. It's still unclear why that would have happened. The bridge was 30 years old but was checked 3 years ago and found to be structurally sound.[/edit]
Tragic as it is for the dead and injured I still have this nagging vision of a worker with a bolt in one hand, spanner in the other, saying "Oops!" as the dust settles.
MikeMcc said:
Tragic as it is for the dead and injured I still have this nagging vision of a worker with a bolt in one hand, spanner in the other, saying "Oops!" as the dust settles.
If that worker looks like your avatar he would have been the H&S rep, and I think his reaction would have been "D'oh !!".
Its gone from seven dead to FOUR dead now on SKY NEWS at 1315. Still reckon that theres loads of cars unaccounted for though and bodies could be in them. Just watched the press conference dont these reporters ask the most stupidest questions :x

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