The Interstate 35 bridge that crosses the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN collapsed today during evening rush hour.
“The bridge started to buckle,” he said. “It went up and it came down. I thought I was gonna die.” His Ford Explorer rolled backwards about 50 feet, and he hit the brakes. He was uninjured, but all around him people were screaming from their cars, some with injuries. He went from vehicle to vehicle helping people out. Four cars were submerged in the river upstream of the bridge and a rescue worker waded in the water searching for survivors. On the east bank, only a small section of the bridge support was still standing, and it was creaking as rescue workers carried out the injured.
It is being reposted that an estimated 50 vehicles reported plunged into the water and onto the land below.
At least one person drowned, and at least 15 people — at least six of whom were children — were injured, said Dr. Joseph Clinton of the Hennepin County Medical Center. Six of the 15 individuals being treated were in critical condition, he said.
UPDATE I: I-35W Bridge Collapses Into Mississippi River
Associated Press reports: “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.” (WCCO)
Other blogs covering this terrible tragedy:
- Wizbang: Many updates to this just horrific tragedy
- Little Green Footballs
- Michelle Malkin
- Hot Air: Horrific Bridge Collapse
UPDATE II: 3 dead as Mississippi River bridge falls amid rush hour in Minneapolis
(CNN) — At least three people were killed when an interstate bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapsed Wednesday evening, plunging cars and chunks of concrete into the Mississippi River below.
There were “lots” of injuries, said the state Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.
“This is a catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesota,” said Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R). “We are doing everything we can to make sure we respond as quickly as we can to this emergency.”
UPDATE IV: Bridge Disaster Kills Six
The I-35W highway bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during evening rush hour Wednesday, killing at least six people.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak comfirmed the deaths during an evening press conference.
Dr. Joseph Clinton of Hennepin County Medical Center confirmed at least one death was due to drowning and his staff was treating six people for critical injuries and at least 22 people for minor injuries.