Search for victims in Minnesota bridge collapse continues 2007-08-07 23:41:38   Print

A three-way bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota is shown collapsed into the Mississippi River, Aug. 1, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A three-way bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota is shown collapsed into the Mississippi River, Aug. 1, 2007.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Nearly one week after a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, in the U.S. mid-western state of Minnesota, a search for the eight missing victims continues, U.S. media reported Tuesday.

    Five people have been confirmed dead in the accident, in which an interstate bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed in the rush hour last Wednesday. Five victims remain in critical condition.

    The eight missing people were believed dead, and rescue coordinators have turned to Navy divers for help.

    FBI dive teams have arrived to join in the search, bringing with them such equipment as a small submarine equipped with a robotic arm, and work has begun to move heavy equipment into position to eventually hoist away the tons of concrete and steel left by the collapse, news reports said.

    Residents of Minneapolis have been asked to observe a moment of silence Tuesday evening at the minute the bridge fell.

    The federal government has pledged 250 million U.S. dollars to rebuild the bridge.

    The cause of the collapse has not been determined. The Minnesota Department of Transportation had inspected the Interstate 35 W bridge numerous times in recent years, finding cracking and other problems but nothing suggested that it could collapse.

    Many Americans worry about the safety of the nation's 600,000 bridges. A new USA TODAY/Gallup poll found that nearly six out of 10 respondents said they believe the Minnesota bridge collapse shows that the nation's transportation system has serious problems.

    The disaster points to the need for better technologies to inspect bridges, but states have been slow to spend money on the new methods, USA Today reported Tuesday, quoting national safety and engineering experts.

    Most federally-mandated bridge inspections are conducted by state workers who visually examine structures or, at most, perform hands-on tests. Studies of those tests show that they are not reliable indicators of potentially serious cracks and corrosion, the newspaper said.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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