This last week you probably heard of the Interstate bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Watching the destruction on the news, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It looked like a paper bridge that had gotten wet in the middle and simply melted into the river.
I was sitting at work when the radio cut in with the news. I had to convince myself that it wasn't a hoax. It sounded like something that might happen in an action movie. Not on I35W. 35W is one of the busiest roads in the Twin Cities. Almost everyone who lives in the area has driven on that bridge multiple times. I heard around 140 thousand cars cross that bridge daily. The collapse happened around six o'clock in the evening, which is the back end of rush hour traffic.
Many cars plunged into the Mississippi River and it's banks. I haven't heard a final death count yet, but it looks like it could have been much worse. A school bus full of children were bravely saved by a quick thinking twenty year old who got all of the children out through the back emergency door.
Emergency crews did a good job getting people the help they needed. Now recovery crews are working quickly to investigate the debris and get cars out from under the bridge. It's unfathomable, the amount of concrete and steel that will have to be removed from the river. I don't know how the engineers will accomplish the clean up and building of a new bridge over the river.
Over the next weeks we will hear about a lot of heroes. We will hear many stories of survival and close calls. A lot of prayers will go out to the victims' families, the emergency personnel, and everyone who was involved with the rescue effort. It will be a long time before the cause of the collapse is found. It will be a long time for people to recover from this tragedy.