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Bridge crashes into Mississippi river; several dead, dozens missing

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Bridge crashes into Mississippi river; several dead, dozens missing

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A 40-year-old interstate bridge has plummeted into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The exact death toll is still unclear but as many as nine people are believed to have died with 30 still unaccounted for. Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said: “This recovery operation is going to take a long time. We are dealing with the Mississippi, with currents. We are going to do it slowly.” The accident happened at rush hour, hurling vehicles into the river. Witnesses say the bridge became a dust cloud as it dropped. Cars were crushed as huge slabs of concrete crashed down. The 150-meter span of steel and concrete, which carried an eight-lane highway, buckled and fell 20-metres into the river. It was packed with commuter traffic at the time. The cause of the disaster is unknown but a US Department of Transportation report, issued in 2005, said the construction was “structurally deficient” and likely to need replacing.