A bridge that collapsed into a river about 60 miles north of Seattle took at least two, maybe three cars with it, according to local news reports. And while people did find themselves in the river, there is not yet any estimate of deaths or injuries. All four lanes of the Interstate 5 bridge hit the water in one section of steel framework between the concrete pylons that hold the roadway above the Skagit River. At least one person has been rescued, KOMO News reports, and boats are in the water to rescue more. The National Bridge Inventory lists the bridge’s structural evaluation as “Somewhat better than minimum adequacy to tolerate being left in place as is.” The cause of the collapse is still a mystery, but it’s certainly not making us feel any better about the notoriously unsound Tappan Zee here in our area. We’ll bring updates as they unfold.
Update, 12:40 a.m.: The Associated Press reports that state authorities have confirmed no fatalities in the bridge collapse, and three people were rescued from the water and sent to hospitals. Meanwhile, the Washington State DOT says its engineer is “looking into the possibility that an oversize load may have struck the bridge.” KDVR cites witnesses who said a too-tall truck hit the bridge just before it collapsed.
The AP has this video from the scene: