Friday, August 03, 2007
More Victims Expected Under Bridge Debris
More victims expected to be recovered from the Mississippi River. AP via The Guardian:
Divers searched the Mississippi River for bodies still trapped beneath the twisted debris of a collapsed bridge Thursday, as finger-pointing began over a report two years ago that found the bridge was ``structurally deficient.''
The official death count from Wednesday evening's collapse stood at four, but Police Chief Tim Dolan said more bodies were in the water. Hospitals officials said 79 others were injured.
A strong current and low visibility hampered the search, and divers were pulled out of the water briefly Thursday afternoon so the water could be lowered, said Inspector Jeff Storms of the sheriff's department.
Twelve vehicles had been located in the river, officials said.
``We have a number of vehicles that are underneath big pieces of concrete, and we do know we have some people in those vehicles,'' Dolan said. ``We know we do have more casualties at the scene.''
The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis artery, was in the midst of repairs when it buckled during the evening rush hour. Dozens of cars plummeted more than 60 feet into the Mississippi River, some falling on top one of another. A school bus sat on the angled concrete.
The bridge is the state's busiest, and carries approximately 141,000 vehicles per day.
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