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Friday, May 24, 2013

Video of Bridge Collapse North of Seattle

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A bridge collapsed north of Seattle Thursday night, dumping two vehicles and three people into the Skagit River.

Detours have been set up around a bridge on Interstate 5 north of Seattle after the bridge collapsed Thursday night, sending two vehicles into the water. Three people were rescued and taken to hospitals to be treated for injuries that were not life threatening, officials said.

Peter Mongillo, a photographer for KOMO-TV News, was at the scene.

One of the victims, Dan Sligh, 47, said in a televised interview that he and his wife were on their way to a camping trip for Memorial Day weekend when they saw an oversized truck strike the side of the bridge in the southbound lane around 7 p.m.

The next thing he knew they were plunging into the icy waters. “You just hold on as tight as you can,” he said.

Mr. Sligh dislocated his shoulder. His wife was knocked unconscious. He managed to keep her head above water for more than an hour until rescue crews in boats arrived.

It could take weeks for the bridge spanning the Skagit River on Washington State’s major north-south artery to be repaired, according to The Seattle Times.

The bridge collapse raised new questions about the state of the nation’s infrastructure. On Washington State’s list of structurally deficient bridges, it was deemed “functionally obsolete.”

During a news conference at the scene, Gov. Jay Inslee promised a full investigation.

“The I-5 corridor is totally disrupted,” Mr. Inslee said.

Gov. Jay Inslee and state transportation officials discuss the bridge collapse on Interstate 5.