Task Force One Won't Go to MN

1 decade 4 months 1 week ago Thursday, August 02 2007 Aug 2, 2007 Thursday, August 02, 2007 8:49:59 AM CDT August 02, 2007 in News

More than 100 cars fell into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis just after Wednesday evening.The governor of Minnesota says an inspection three years ago found the 35-West bridge to be sound,it was not sound Wednesday.

It doesn't appear the Missouri task force-one unit will be sent to Minnesota. That group has handled everything from 9-11 to Hurricane Katrina.

Gale Bloomenkamp --- a spokesman for the group --- says other rescue groups from Nebraska and Indiana would likely go to Minnesota first.

Bloomenkamp added the task force has never prepared for a bridge collapse specifically but if called would respond in the same fashion as Missouri rescuers did last summer in Clinton.

The death toll from the collapse is now up to four. Also known as 35 W, the bridge was jammed with rush- hour traffic when it appeared to crumble.

Tons of concrete fell into the river. The number of injured stands at 58 right now.

Rescuers are afraid more cars may be stuck under the main span.

Rescue workers pulled drivers and passengers from the river and loaded them into ambulances.

Cars weren't the only vehicles demolished-a freight train was passing under the bridge.

Falling concrete sliced the train in two. The 35-W bridge, a major route between Minneapolis and St. Paul, was in the process of being repaired.

Motorists who made it to safety found it hard to believe the collapse actually happened.

The 40-year-old bridge stretches between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The arched structure was built in 1967 and rises about 64 feet above the river.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's web site, workers have been repairing the bridge's surface as part of improvements along that stretch of the interstate.

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