A bridge over the Mississippi River has fallen.
The I-35 W is visible as one of the darker (thus wider) bridges on this map, and is labeled. It is seen near the Gasworks Area and the Bohemian Flats.
As it gets near 10 pm EDT, the wire services are saying seven people are reported dead from the freeway bridge that fell into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, about four hours ago.
Reuters is flashing the news around the world that “One hundred cars [are] missing in US bridge collapse.”
News channels on television are showing wall-to-wall images of the collapse.
It reminds me of the Silver Bridge collapse over the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, on December 15, 1967. In that tragedy, thirty-seven (37) cars and trucks were on the bridge when it fell, taking them into the water. Forty-six (46) individuals died, with 44 bodies found and two bodies never recovered.
Despite popular legend, no Mothman was seen that day, but the banshee-like link between the sightings of the previous 13 months and the Silver Bridge collapse will live forever due to The Mothman Prophecies book and movie.
Needless to say, no ties to Mothman are apparent with today’s collapse (yet).
Rescue officials told CNN there could be up to 50 to 100 cars in the river.
The entire span of the 35W bridge collapsed about 6:05 pm where the freeway crosses the Mississippi River near University Avenue, not far from the University of Minnesota.
The road was carrying bumper to bumper traffic when the 160-metre steel arch bridge collapsed at rush hour (just as occurred with the Silver Bridge). The bridge, coincidentally built in 1967, was about 60 feet/20 metres above the river.
Another spooky link: This newly collapsed Minnesota bridge is a portion of I-35. It will be called the I-35W Bridge by the media throughout the next few days (and into history). The Silver Bridge that collapsed in 1967 was part of U.S. Highway 35.
My wishes go out to any cryptozoologists (such as Mark A. Hall, author of Thunderbirds: America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds) and cryptoartists (e.g. “Mall of America Mandrill” cartoonist Steve Stwalley) living in Minneapolis-St. Paul for their safety, and the safe return of their friends and family. To all the victims, a speedy recovery, and to those who lost loved ones, my condolences.
I will make updates here, as required. The death toll is expected to increase.
In summary, the Minneapolis bridge collapsed at rush hour, 6:05 PM Central Time. It is called the I-35W Bridge because it is a portion of Interstate 35, over the Mississippi River. It was built in 1967.
The Silver Bridge (tied to Mothman by popular culture) that collapsed on December 15, 1967, over the Ohio River, was part of U. S. Highway 35. That collapse occurred at 5:04 PM Eastern Time, during rush hour.
In 1967, 67 people fell into the water. Forty-six died. It is too early to know the final toll due to the I-35 collapse.
The two photos above are from the Silver Bridge collapse of 1967.
For recent blogs in the wake of the I-35W Bridge event, see: