Safecastle | One Shop For All Emergency Essentials: Minneapolis 35W Bridge Down

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Minneapolis 35W Bridge Down

In the last hour or two, reports have saturated the airwaves locally and nationally about the ongoing rush-hour tragedy in Minneapolis. A major thoroughfare for commuters and travelers through the Twin Cities, in direct proximity to the University of Minnesota, has collapsed.

Several eyewitness reports on the bridge at the time it collapsed indicate the possibility of explosions that were "blowing" debris and people up in the air before the spans dropped. The bridge was gridlocked with traffic due to construction taking place on the bridge.

Homeland Security and the FBI are on the scene as well as all available emergency responders in the Twin Cities area. There are an unknown number of fatalities and injuries.

Estimates are that there were 50 vehicles on the bridge and 20 construction workers.

Local cell phone service and bandwidth is being overwhelmed and those in the region are being asked not to use their cell phones to allow for emergency responders to use those frequencies. Severe weather is about to move through the area that will temporarily hamper rescue efforts. Correction--just heard that responders are involved in "Recovery efforts" in the river, not "Rescue efforts" at this point.

Our prayers are with all involved here. We also pray that we don't see any other similar or follow-up events here or elsewhere that would indicate this is anything other than an accident.

8pm update: Construction-failure investigative expert Tim Galarnik declares he has been made aware that there were fatigue fractures detected last year in the steel support under the superstructure during maintenance inspections.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

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