NTSB to investigate Minneapolis bridge collapse
While Minneapolis emergency workers are searching for missing drivers after Wednesday’s collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a Go Team to investigate the collapse. At least four people were confirmed dead on Thursday, and city officials say the death toll is expected to rise as divers begin checking more than 50 vehicles that dropped into the Mississippi River around 6:05 p.m.
The seven-member NTSB team, led by Gary Van Etten and accompanied by NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker, arrived on the scene Thursday morning, but had no information on the cause of the collapse. More than 60 people were injured in the collapse, and the Twin Cities Red Cross is coordinating information on the victims. Information on the victims is available at www.redcrosstc.org.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said in a statement that they are closely monitoring the situation. “I am directing every available city resource to guarantee that our emergency response teams work to ensure that nearby infrastructure, streets and bridges are safe,” Ryback said in a statement. “We will also work with our state and federal partners to complete a full and thorough investigation into the cause of this disaster.”
The city is rerouting traffic to circumvent the collapsed bridge and has designated Minnesota Highway 280 as the primary replacement route. More information is available at the city’s Web site, www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/.