Search Crews Struggle After Minneapolis Collapse

By  | 

MINNEAPOLIS -- A strong current and poor visibility in the Mississippi River are hampering search teams looking for victims of the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

Police say while the official death count is just four, more bodies are trapped in submerged vehicles. And those vehicles are stuck beneath big pieces of concrete.

Divers have been noting license plate numbers to help authorities identify the drivers. Meanwhile, anxious relatives have been waiting for word in a city hotel. One man say he hopes his wife turns up as a "Jane Doe in a hospital somewhere."

The eight-lane bridge buckled during the evening rush hour Thursday. Federal officials say inspectors found problems with it two years ago and classified it as "structurally deficient." White House spokesman Tony Snow says while the report didn't indicate the bridge was in danger of collapse, it was the state's responsibility to fix it.

But Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says the state was never warned immediate action might be needed. He says the recommendation was to monitor "and potentially replace it in the future."

Pawlenty has ordered an immediate inspection of all bridges in the state with similar designs.