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Old 08-02-2007, 01:56 AM   #1
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Unhappy Terrible Bridge Disaster in Minneapolis

Quote:
Death toll rises in US bridge disaster

At least seven people have been confirmed dead and the number is expected to rise after the collapse of a highway bridge in Minneapolis.


The bridge, which was under repair, buckled and fell into the Mississippi River, about 6:05pm local time (11.05am NZT).
Cars were crushed under huge slabs of concrete, flipped onto their roofs or thrown in the river as the 40-year-old bridge, packed with vehicles in nose-to-tail commuter traffic, collapsed with a thunderous roar.
There are "at least seven confirmed fatalities and we expect that number to go up as well," an official said.
He said at least 60 people had been taken to hospitals.
"It will be a very tragic night when it is over," Minneapolis mayor R T Ryback told a news conference.
"Obviously this is a catastrophe of historic proportions," added Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Dr Joseph Clifton told reporters that his hospital, Hennepin County Medical Centre, had taken in 22 injured, six of them in critical condition.
One man was dead on arrival, having drowned. "Most were blunt-type injuries, in the face and extremities," Clifton said, adding many suffered internal injuries.
The cause of the disaster was not yet known, state police said.
Governor Pawlenty said the bridge, which was built in 1967, was inspected in 2005 and 2006 and the Minnesota Department of Transportation found no structural defects.
Ryback said some 50 cars involved in the collapse had been searched by rescue workers.
Rescue boats and divers searched the water.
The state transport agency said 200,000 cars a day use the steel arch bridge.
In a similar disaster in June 1983, three people were killed when a section of bridge collapsed over a river on the I-95, the major US East Coast highway, in Connecticut.
A freight train was passing under the bridge when it collapsed, and was cut in two, WCCO television reported.
The US Department of Homeland Security in Washington quickly said there was no indication of terrorism in the disaster at this stage.
"I saw them carrying up a body - I don't know if he was alive or dead," said Andy Schwich, who arrived at the scene on his bicycle a few minutes after the collapse.
A truck was exploding in fireballs, he said, and there were numerous cars either on the remnants of the bridge or in the river.
"It was the worst thing I ever saw," Schwich, said.
Witnesses said they heard a rumbling sound as the bridge collapsed into the river.
"First I heard this huge roar," Leone Carstens, a nearby resident, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I was at my computer. Initially I thought, Wow was that an airplane?"
Television pictures showed sections of highway leading to the bridge had also collapsed, in places crushing cars and trucks and starting fires.
One witness said she saw people trying to swim to safety.
Huge chunks of the bridge stuck at odd angles out of the river, in places surrounded by half submerged cars.
The road was carrying bumper to bumper traffic when the 152 metre steel arch bridge collapsed. The bridge, built in 1967, was 20m above the river.
Here's a helecopter video surveying the damage:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/videoplayer/107263a14936.html

This is soooo Sad. Though I can't understand how a 40-year old bridge just collapses:eek:. I mean, the Peace Bridge between Canada and New York is over 80 yrs-old, and it looks like Crap, but it's still up there
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:10 AM   #2
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Very sad. My prayers go out to all effected by this tragedy.
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:37 AM   #3
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My wife and I were looking at that last night and remembering when we had driven across that very bridge just this last May. We took our 3 girls to Minneapolis for vacation and we crossed that bridge a couple times during that week.

One of the news channels was showing a report from like 2000 or 2001 in which an engineering group "surveyed" the bridge and found a lot of signs of fatigue, but they really couldn't see any failure points, so they basically noted the fatigued areas and walked away.

I smell a huge lawsuit coming up here....the city of Minneapolis (maybe St. Paul too), and the state of Minnesota are in for a big lawsuit that they will probably lose.

As Tag said, thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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I hope people don't start jumping the engineer's asses. More to follow, I'm too busy to type long response out.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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I'm work in live in the Twin Cities and feel so lucky that I know absolutely no one invloved in this. The Bridge is 40 years old and was currently under minor repair but nothing that anyone thought was detrimental to the healthof the bridge. This is a major bridge along a major highway that will disrupt traffic in the area for a considerable time.

It is great to see all the help that arrived so quickly from professionals and bystanders. Its this type of characteristic that I am trying to instill my kids. I tell them that if they have the ability to help, they should, without any sort of thanks or compensation for their actions. It's nice to see that its not completely lost in this world.
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truvkngfan View Post
I'm work in live in the Twin Cities and feel so lucky that I know absolutely no one invloved in this. The Bridge is 40 years old and was currently under minor repair but nothing that anyone thought was detrimental to the healthof the bridge. This is a major bridge along a major highway that will disrupt traffic in the area for a considerable time.
I guess there was a status report 15 or so years ago that stated the bridge was "structurally deficient", and further investigation uncovered various cracks in the steel and the welds. No. 1 how does "structurally defiecient" not raise a VERY red flag. And No. 2 if you see cracks...you fix them.

Apparently the average "safe" bridge life in the US is 42 years. So, if this bridge showed signs of deteriation, then replace it.

13% of all US bridges are deemed "structurally defiecent"!?!?! WHAT!! That's like, 1 in 8 bridges are crap!.How can we (as a nation) not want to fix that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by truvkngfan View Post
It is great to see all the help that arrived so quickly from professionals and bystanders. Its this type of characteristic that I am trying to instill my kids. I tell them that if they have the ability to help, they should, without any sort of thanks or compensation for their actions.
It's nice to know some parents still value those types of attributes. Mine Do, and I am better for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by truvkngfan View Post
It's nice to see that its not completely lost in this world.
MOST Definitely Not. At least not to me. Believe it or not. I live in New York and I heard it first on our local news station - not the National.I'm so sorry to hear of all the losses. I guess there were people trapped in cars under water. But the Mississippi was flowing so hard, that the search-and-rescue had to be called off for the safety of the Divers.

My heart and prayers go out to all those families....
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