HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! One of the busiest bridges in the region collapsed in the middle of rush hour around 5:45-6PM trapping hundreds of cars and passengers. I drive on the bridge about 5-10 times every week so it’s freaky to see it down. Could’ve been me out there. Even if I wasn’t dead or injured, my car would’ve been totaled. Interstate 35W had always felt rock solid until now.
From what it appears and from eye-witnesses, there was a loud crack or bang and the bridge gave way which sorta turns the spotlight on the QA team who are in charge of maintaining the Interstate bridges in Minneapolis. Reporters and engineers are blaming “structural failure”.
Luckily, the bridge (originally built in 1967) collapsed on the Mississippi river instead of another freeway or highway below cuz that would dramatically increase the chances of more fatalities. CNN reported that there were 3 deaths but KARE11 has 1 death (drowning) and missing victims so far. Lots of damaged cars and many rescue efforts from the river. Some kid on tv described a concrete slab crushing a car with someone in it. 60 kids on a school bus were rescued with only a few severe injuries.
My girlfriend’s dad takes the bus from work in Minneapolis everyday around 5:45PM. Seems like he was on the other bridge (Cedar Ave) going home up north and saw 35W collapse in slow-motion. A distant cousin of mine had driven on the bridge roughly 5 mins before it collapsed. He later saw a lot of cops and ambulances rushing past him.
Everybody was calling everybody in Minneapolis/St Paul and news broadcasters were advised to let everybody know that this could lead to clogged cellphone lines. Call rationing in place. Good common sense. Also seems like the Twins game went ahead as scheduled to prevent letting ppl go home which could only increase traffic.
There are 2 bad things happening.
1. It’s getting dark
2. There are rain clouds heading from northwest to southeast and we got hit by rain earlier and it appears to be heading to the collapsed bridge section.
It’s going to cause a lot of problems for rescuers and people trapped there.
As of Aug 2nd,
CNN and major news reporting 4 dead but local news agencies have updated it to 9 dead. 62 injured. 30 missing.
No seismic activity prior to bridge collapse.
People reporting the bridge shaking and the left-side wobbled and all of a sudden it was a “free fall” as described. The drop was 30-40 ft.
The apartments in the vicinity felt minor earthquakes when the 40 year old bridge broke apart.
One video footage from KARE11’s coverage showed a white
Mitsubishi Lancer, Jetta, Corolla (edited: sorry wasn’t an Evo) stranded with an SUV or a larger vehicle behind it and other cars around it on the bridge.
Later pictures show that the SUVs had pulled out leaving the lone white
Mitsubishi Evo, Lancer, Jetta, Corolla on a 30 -degree angeled portion of the bridge.
Security camera footage shows the bridge crumbling on the south-side to the north.