Hope is fading in the search for survivors of an interstate bridge collapse in the United States. Four people have been confirmed killed, but up to 30 more are yet to be found after being hurled into the Mississippi river in Wednesday’s evening rush hour. Repair work was being carried out on the eight-lane motorway, meaning cars were bumper-to-bumper in the lanes that stayed open. More than 50 vehicles then plunged 20 meters into the strong currents below.
When divers resume their search at daybreak, the rescue effort will have become more of a recovery operation. And investigators will be trying to find out why the steel truss bridge crumbled so quickly. In 2005 a report labelled it “structurally deficient”. Tens of thousands of bridges across the country are in this category, meaning they need to be replaced eventually but are still considered safe.