|At 6:05 p.m. CDT on August 1, 2007, with rush hour bridge traffic moving slowly through the limited number of lanes, the central span of the bridge suddenly gave way, followed by the adjoining spans. The structure and deck collapsed into the river and onto the riverbanks below, the south part toppling 81 feet (25 m) eastward in the process. Approximately 100 vehicles were involved, sending their occupants and 18 construction workers up to 115 feet (35 m) down to the river or onto its banks. Northern sections fell into a rail yard, landing on three unoccupied and stationary freight train cars.
Sequential images of the collapse were taken by an outdoor security camera located at the parking lot entrance of the control facility for the Lower Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. The immediate aftermath of the collapse was also captured by a Mn/DOT traffic camera that was facing away from the bridge during the collapse itself.
Mayor R.T. Rybak and Governor Tim Pawlenty declared a state of emergency for the city of Minneapolis and for the state of Minnesota on 2007-08-02. Rybak's declaration was approved and extended indefinitely by the Minneapolis City Council the next day. As of the morning following the collapse, according to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, Minnesota had not requested a federal disaster declaration. President Bush pledged support during a visit to the site on 2007-08-04 with Minnesota elected officials and announced that United States Secretary of Transportation (USDOT) Mary Peters would lead the rebuilding effort. Rybak and Pawlenty gave the president detailed requests for aid during a closed-door meeting. Local authorities were assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) evidence team, and by United States Navy divers who began arriving on 2007-08-05.
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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