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The are certain moments in time that people can reflect exactly where they were when it happened (i.e.- Challenger disaster, 9/11 terrorist attack). For many Minnesotans, the collapse of 35W bridge in Minneapolis is one of those moments.

This audio opens with breaking news coverage from MPR’s All Things Considered on that night and includes numerous interviews and descriptions from individuals on the scene. The continued MPR Special Coverage interrupted the regular programming of Marketplace and BBC World News.


2008 National Headliner Award, first place in Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event category

2007 NBNA Eric Sevareid Award, award of merit in Spot News - Large Market Radio category

2008 RTNDA Murrow Award, Radio - Large Market, Region 4 / Spot News Coverage category


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TOM CRANN: There is more about Marianne's story online now at, a slideshow. Visit our website. It is 6:30. And we have some breaking news to tell you about before we go off to Marketplace here on Minnesota Public Radio News, and that is that our Twin Cities television stations are reporting a major bridge collapse.

It is said to be at 35W and University. There is a fire there. There is smoke, and there are cars said to be in the river. This is being confirmed as well by MnDOT, that there has been a major bridge collapse. That would be just east of downtown Minneapolis, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. And the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in both directions has collapsed into the river.

And that is what television stations here in the Twin Cities are reporting, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Multiple cars, even a report of a truck in the river. Very dramatic video now on TV of this well-known Minneapolis landmark very close to the University of Minnesota and downtown Minneapolis.

Again, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the website is reporting that the Interstate 35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis has collapsed into the river in both locations. And as we get word of any injuries or any additional information about that, we will have it for you, as we continue to monitor this event here on Minnesota Public Radio News.

But for now, we will go off to Marketplace, and we'll bring you more information as it becomes available in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom. So please avoid that area if you're in the Twin Cities. Drive safely and listen to Minnesota Public Radio News for further updates.

GUY: --Marketplace business there. Scott, thanks a lot.

SCOTT: All right, Guy. Good to see you.

TOM CRANN: You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio News. I'm Tom Crann in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom at 6:44. And we have a breaking story to pass on to you. There has been a major bridge collapse in Minneapolis, on one of the most well-traveled thoroughfares in the Twin Cities metro. The freeway bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis has collapsed, and it's sent many cars into the water. We're talking about the entire span of the 35W bridge.

The 35W bridge near University Avenue collapsed at about 6:05 this evening. That is where the freeway crosses the river near University Avenue. Tons of concrete have collapsed. People are injured. Survivors are being carried up the riverbank. According to live television pictures, there is-- well, there are a lot of twisted metal and some cars that appear to be both in the river, one truck on fire, and then the debris of the bridge as well being shown live on television pictures.

Some people stranded on parts of the bridge that aren't completely in the water. Earlier, a tractor-trailer was on fire at the collapse scene. Smoke can be seen coming from the collapsed part of the bridge as well. Workers were said to be resurfacing part of that bridge earlier. And the details here are sketchy, because this has just happened within the past half hour or so. But our own Cathy Wurzer is there very close to the scene in Minneapolis, has been by there. And Cathy, can you hear me?

CATHY WURZER: I can, Tom. Thanks. I'm on Southeast 4th Street, about two blocks off of the accident site. And I'm surrounded by news crews and a number of emergency vehicles from Roseville, Lake Johanna, New Brighton. A number of suburbs are sending in crews, boats, rescue boats, that kind of thing. They're trying to get to the river and launch to get some of the victims that are evidently still in the river.

It's really hard to tell from my vantage point, because I'm about two blocks away. I'm looking south at this point. Billowing smoke, as you mentioned, from this fire, the tractor-trailer on fire. And it is just a mob scene around here. U of M police are attempting to direct traffic, but where I am, which is just off of Dinkytown, streets are clogged. Traffic, as you might imagine, is just a mess. People are running back and forth crying. One woman said that she saw at least 20 cars in the river. Of course, that's obviously third-hand. I haven't seen it myself.

TOM CRANN: Sure. Yeah, yeah.

CATHY WURZER: I'm hoping to get close and call you back.

TOM CRANN: All right, Cathy. And please be safe, and let us know what's going on. Can you see or tell at this point how much of Interstate 35W is closed? I imagine it's closed in both directions now, through much of downtown Minneapolis. Can you tell which way they're diverting, or is anything like that going on?

CATHY WURZER: You know, I came in-- I was in the general area here. So I came down University Avenue. And obviously traffic in both directions on 35W is closed, clearly. You can get as far as Stinson Boulevard to the south. I should say to the north, I guess. And then I have no idea what's happening to the south, to be honest with you.

TOM CRANN: Right. I see.

CATHY WURZER: Obviously, we have a number of officers here who are really, at this end, trying to direct traffic. Because it is such a mess, and they're trying to get these emergency vehicles through and to the river. And I wish them luck, because it really is a difficult situation here.

TOM CRANN: And from where you are, can you see how much of the bridge has actually collapsed, or what it looks like? Because it's a familiar landmark to all of us in the Twin Cities. What does it look like?

CATHY WURZER: Pretend if you would that you were on 35W driving into Minneapolis. Therefore you would be heading south. And from what I see at this point, the road itself dips down and then comes up. The problem is, it's not coming up. It's not there, if you get my drift. So I'm not close enough to really see the damage at this point.

My colleagues, of course, from television stations are all up in the air at this point. You probably hear the helicopters in the background. They obviously have a bird's eye view of the situation down below in the river. But no, you cannot see-- there's no road in front of you, in other words. And so it's presumably all gone.

TOM CRANN: Yeah, it's presumably all gone. And no word at this point of any injuries or casualties that you've heard so far?

CATHY WURZER: I'm sorry, no. Although I am seeing-- I just saw-- there's a gentleman that was just right behind me. And he had a bandage over his head, and he was being led by two emergency EMTs. And they're coming up from this area a couple blocks away. So I really don't have a clue in terms of numbers or anything like that. Presumably it's a--

TOM CRANN: It's so early.

CATHY WURZER: --pretty horrible situation.

TOM CRANN: Yeah, exactly. It's a very well-traveled part of the Twin Cities infrastructure. Cathy Wurzer, thank you very much for reporting live for us, and we'll check in with you once again as we have more information. Thank you, Cathy.

CATHY WURZER: Will do. Thanks, Tom.

TOM CRANN: Cathy Wurzer reporting live from Minneapolis for us tonight. If you're just tuning in to Minnesota Public Radio News, a quick update of what we're talking about. And that is a major stretch of Twin Cities roadway, the bridge from 35W over the Mississippi River, has collapsed, actually. And that is the span of 35W across the river near University Avenue. And details still very sketchy, and all this. Stay tuned to Minnesota Public Radio News for further coverage as we get more information for you.


SPEAKER 1: Want to know what's in the works at Marketplace? How about getting the latest news and features in an email? Sign up for the Marketplace Midday Update. It will keep you up to date on the day's business news, and let you know what to expect on our next program. Go to and click on the newsletter link on the right.


MICHELLE PHILIPPE: From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at events coming up Thursday. In Washington, the Commerce Department reports on factory orders for June. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to meet with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah before returning to Washington. And the House Budget Committee looks ahead to the long-term effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the federal budget. I'm Michelle Philippe.

KAI RYSSDAL: This is Marketplace from American Public Media. I'm Kai Ryssdal. Congress only has another couple of working days before Capitol Hill shuts down for its August recess on Friday, which of course means bills are flying out of there fast and furious. One of the big ones is a proposed $75 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, also known as SCHIP. It has a fair amount of bipartisan support, although the president is threatening a veto. He says SCHIP is too expensive, and it extends government health coverage too far up into the middle class. Commentator David Frum says there's something else wrong with it, too.

DAVID FRUM: Years ago, Donald Rumsfeld summarized his observations of Washington life as Rumsfeld's Rules. Among them, if you can't solve a problem, make it bigger. Now Democrats are following in Rumsfeld's footsteps. They can't fix Medicaid, so they're going to make it bigger. After President Clinton's health care proposals collapsed in 1994, advocates of a federal national health insurance program decided to move more cautiously. Instead of erecting a single-payer system all at once, they would advance step by step.

Thus was born SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program. States got extra federal money to provide Medicaid coverage for lower-income children under 18. If anything, SCHIP is even more generous than Medicaid, covering people with incomes twice the poverty line and paying higher benefits than Medicaid itself.

But from the start, there was something strange and covert about SCHIP. SCHIP targeted the most politically sympathetic population, not the neediest. Rather than extending insurance to the uninsured, it shifted insurance from the private to the public sector. Medicaid already covered 1/3 of under-18s. SCHIP boosted that share to 1/2. Yet of the additional kids covered by SCHIP, 3/4 already had private insurance. Now Democrats in Congress are proposing to expand the program vastly, again to a population already majority insured.

SCHIP was not created to solve a health problem. SCHIP was created to solve a political problem-- how to sell universal government health insurance to a skeptical country. Advocates of national health insurance know what they want, and they have carefully considered how to get it. Those of us on the other side, on the side of private markets, have to meet and match them. If we continue to defend and excuse an increasingly unsatisfactory status quo, we are going to find that with SCHIPs, as with potato chips, people won't be satisfied with just one.

KAI RYSSDAL: David Frum is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. You can tell us what you think online. Our website is Click on that link that says contact.


Fans of crime fiction are a special breed. Once they're hooked, they're hooked. And publishers know it. Akashic Books even has a noir series. There's Brooklyn Noir, San Francisco Noir-- even, if you can believe it, Twin Cities Noir. So this next thing had to happen sometime. The series heads to Wall Street this summer. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports now on the dark underbelly of the trading game.


AMY SCOTT: The afternoon air wrapped around me like a hot wet blanket when I caught the 4 Train down to Wall Street. I found Peter Spiegelman waiting for me in one of those cute little outdoor cafes on Stone. Too cute, if you ask me.

OK, seriously. Spiegelman is the editor of the short story collection Wall Street Noir. He spent 20 years on Wall Street, designing trading software for the likes of JP Morgan. He says the idea for the book took root the first time he set foot on a trading floor.

PETER SPIEGELMAN: You know, two investment bankers rigging a spreadsheet isn't quite the same as two grifters taking down a dog track. But spending a little time on the trading floor, you see big egos and a lot of sweaty paranoia and a lot of money at stake, and a lot of extreme behavior. And you realize it's very much the stuff and substance of noir.

SPEAKER 2: A 14-year career on Wall Street wears away at your soul as assuredly as a stream against limestone. It pushes you to a place where you don't fully recognize who you are or how you got here. Wall Street eats its young, and today the beast has a particular appetite for a certain 36-year-old maverick with 78 people reporting to him. That would be me.

AMY SCOTT: As I read, I began to see what Spiegelman was talking about. Noir fiction celebrates the dark side of human nature. Protagonists are imperfect. Heroes are scarce. Is that the Wall Street you know?

PETER SPIEGELMAN: Virtue is not reliably rewarded, or not rewarded at all. And if you happen to stumble upon the truth, it very often makes things worse. You've got characters who are in the grips of their own worst impulses, who are acting against their own best interests, who often know that they're doing those things and yet are compelled to do it anyway.

AMY SCOTT: Take the day trader who finds himself stuffed in the trunk of a client's car after the market goes south.

SPEAKER 3: I guess I was naive. But when I met him, he just seemed like a nice, hard-working Mexican man who was trying to make a better life for himself, just like everybody else who comes to this country. Later I learned that he'd earned his money selling drugs. What can I tell you? I'm a moron.

AMY SCOTT: Then there's the journalist who gets caught up in an insider trading scheme, hoping to impress an old college buddy, the subtly named Tripp Pennypacker.

SPEAKER 4: His sculptured hair was the color of champagne, and that amazing grin was, as ever, a treasury of enticing enamel.

AMY SCOTT: If the writing can be a bit over the top, some of the stories ring a little too true. Like Spiegelman's own tale of a derivatives trader who gets caught inflating profits at his investment bank. He flees to a small town in South Dakota, and without giving too much away, let's just say that even rural bartenders care about what happens on Wall Street.

Which brings us to another theme in the book. Wall Street no longer exists solely in Lower Manhattan, or even New York City. These stories cover the map from Greenwich, Connecticut, to Honduras, Israel, and Thailand. Wherever money and ego are on the line, bad things can happen. But Peter Spiegelman says it would be too easy to blame greed.

PETER SPIEGELMAN: I think money, in this case, is the most obvious symptom of something else. It's not so much that they are interested in defrauding the firms of big money. But they are just terrified to somehow be revealed as failures, or incompetent, or somehow not up to snuff.

AMY SCOTT: Spiegelman's not the only author with firsthand experience of how Wall Street can wear a man down. My favorite is the one by Henry Blodget. The former star analyst at Merrill Lynch was charged with securities fraud. A number of emails made the case. He eventually settled with the SEC. Appropriately, his story "Bonus Season" features the dangers of email prominently. Blodget writes with the empathy of one who's seen Wall Street's darker side, and lived to tell about it.


In New York, I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

TOM CRANN: This is Tom Crann in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom with breaking news for you from Minneapolis tonight. A very busy highway bridge that spans the Mississippi River on Interstate 35 has collapsed. This happened less than an hour ago. There have been signs of a tractor-trailer which caught fire, and flame and black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky. This is the Interstate 35W bridge. It has collapsed over the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis, not far from the University of Minnesota.

Still sketchy. We have no reports yet of any injuries or casualties. It's hard to imagine that there won't be any from the television pictures that we have been seeing here in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom. It's a major Minneapolis landmark, one of the most-traveled thoroughfares in the Twin Cities, and it has just collapsed into the Mississippi River.

And still smoke and rescue vehicles on the scene. Our own Cathy Wurzer, who's trying to get much closer to the scene, told us earlier that there are rescue vehicles from various municipalities around the region, around the whole Twin Cities metro. The 10th Avenue Bridge has been closed. And also we're told that the Minnesota State Patrol has set up a command post as well, very close to there, to try to combine rescue efforts. We've seen video footage from television news copters of rescue boats in the water.

There is a stretch of the roadway just lying right on the water, on the Mississippi. And then there is wreckage on either bank, including a number of cars, twisted metal, and the road surface, the asphalt road surface identifiable right in the river. Also the traffic has stopped at University Avenue to the north, Washington Avenue to the south. Obviously no traffic getting through, and things are quite backed up as you would imagine as well.

I'm sure a lot of people listening right now are very concerned about the extent of things. We have reporters on the ground, and as we know more information we will bring it to you throughout the evening. But again, the Interstate 35W bridge has collapsed in Minneapolis across the Mississippi River. We get a news update now at 7:00.

MARION MARSHALL: BBC World News. I'm Marion Marshall. Tens of thousands of people have come out onto the streets of the Colombian capital, Bogota, to welcome a teacher who's walked nearly 900 kilometers to secure the release of his son, who's been held by the left-wing FARC rebels for almost 10 years.

The teacher, Gustavo Moncayo, has been walking for more than six weeks with his hands chained together. He wants the Colombian president, Álvaro Uribe, to agree to a prisoner exchange between the FARC and the government. Mr. Moncayo said the public reaction to his march showed that the whole nation wanted the president to take action.


INTERPRETER: I think the message has been delivered. And the president and the FARC, I think they shouldn't detach themselves from everything that is going on, from this big reality. It's a national outcry. It's a global outcry.

MARION MARSHALL: A motorway bridge has collapsed into the Mississippi River in the United States, sending cars and trucks into the water. The accident happened around rush hour in the city of Minneapolis. Television pictures showed a stretch of the four-lane bridge, several hundred meters long, lying in the water with cars and people stranded on broken sections of the bridge. A rescue operation is underway. Details are still coming in.

One of the leading presidential candidates for the Democratic Party in the United States, Barack Obama, says he would be prepared to order military attacks against al-Qaeda in Pakistan, even without the consent of the Pakistani government. Mr. Obama's comments in Washington came just days after his main rival, Hillary Clinton, accused him of being naive on foreign affairs. Here's Jonathan Beale in Washington.

JONATHAN BEALE: Barack Obama told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center that if he were president, he'd be prepared to order attacks inside Pakistan with or without the country's approval. He said, "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf won't act, then we will." Such comments are clearly designed to bolster his credentials among a domestic audience, but Pakistan's foreign ministry warned against political point-scoring on such sensitive issues.

MARION MARSHALL: The British national airline, British Airways, has been fined nearly $550 million by US and British regulators after it admitted unlawfully conspiring to fix airfares and other prices. Another airline, the South Korean carrier Korean Air, was fined $300 million. BA admitted colluding on prices with another British airline, Virgin Atlantic, which then alerted the authorities about the deal. William Mercer from the US Department of Justice said BA passengers had been swindled.

WILLIAM MERCER: During this conspiracy, any person who flew on a British Airways flight between the UK and the US paid more for their airline tickets as a result of this illegal cartel. Consumers paid more because British Airways fixed the fuel surcharge rates added to passenger fares.

MARION MARSHALL: World News from the BBC.

TOM CRANN: This is Minnesota Public Radio News. I'm Tom Crann in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom. And we have a major freeway bridge collapse to tell you about in Minneapolis over the Mississippi River, Interstate 35W, one of the most-traveled thoroughfares in the Twin Cities. The bridge has collapsed into the Mississippi River. Our own Cathy Wurzer is on the scene now, and she joins me on her cell phone not far from the banks of the Mississippi. Cathy.

CATHY WURZER: Hi, Tom. I'm about, really, a block away from this collapsed bridge. I'm by the Metal-Matic plant. This is a large plant that's right off of 2nd Street Southeast and the 4th Street Southeast exits off of 35W. And what I'm looking at here is clearly this bridge has collapsed, just as if you were to drive south into downtown Minneapolis, it collapsed right as you were going over railroad tracks. And then there's the river. And then there's nothing left of that bridge.

There are a couple hundred people, onlookers, that have gathered here on the riverbanks. A number of emergency responders in boats on the river right now. They're also along the riverbanks. I can't get that close, though, to see the number of cars in the river. We know there are cars in the river, however. Because of course, this was at the tail end of rush hour, heavily traveled area, as you probably know. And so we do know that there are people in the river.

I just talked to a gentleman who worked at Metal-Matic, and he helped rescue some of the people. You can see one, two, three, four, five cars that are overturned. They were obviously trying to merge onto 35W when the bridge collapsed. Some are upside down. They're crushed. This gentleman, a worker here at Metal-Matic, helped rescue a couple of those people.

And I asked him, what did this sound like? And he said, well, a metal finishing plant is really loud anyway. They thought it was the trains being loaded out in back here of the plant, he said. But then it kept going and going and going, and it sounded like a building collapse. And they ran out, and he said, we realized something was wrong when we saw the highway sign over the freeway come tumbling down.


CATHY WURZER: And so there are a number of people, again, behind me who are in those cars. I hope to talk to them too, to find out their stories. Police are now starting to push us back away from the river. Understandably so. And again, no report-- at this point, I can't confirm any deaths, or I don't know the extent of injuries at this point, either.

TOM CRANN: How about the extent of the rescue operation? Because you were saying before that there seemed to be fire and rescue personnel from several Twin Cities municipalities there. Must be quite an operation going on. What can you see from where you are?

CATHY WURZER: Oh, goodness. Yes, actually, when I was just trying to find a parking place for my car, I noticed a number of suburban fire departments coming in. As I mentioned, Lake Johanna, New Brighton, Roseville from the north. And some of these fire and rescue squads were bringing boats with them, and they took one turn to go down to the landing by St. Anthony Main, that area. And people are familiar with that.

And yes, in fact, you could probably hear the sirens behind me here. They just keep coming and coming and coming. It's hard, of course, to count at this point. But over to my right-hand side, again, by the St. Anthony Main area, where there is an emergency headquarters set up for emergency responders, they're just thick over there with different rescue crews from all over the Twin Cities.

TOM CRANN: Can you see or have you seen anyone who has survived, being either pulled out of the water or on the banks of the river, or anyone who clearly has made it through this?

CATHY WURZER: I have to be honest, again, they're keeping us back from the river, and I'm about a block from the river itself. I'm right by the railroad tracks that front the river. The people that were obviously trying to merge onto 35W when it collapsed, they're behind me. And they're looking at their cars with bewilderment, like, what happened? And these gentlemen from Metal-Matic ran over and helped some of them get out of their cars. We're being kept away from them right now too. They just seem to just be, as you can imagine, just dazed in terms of what happened here this afternoon.

TOM CRANN: Exactly. It must be just a surreal situation. I see, at least from the television copters that I can see here in the studio, I see just the roadbed just cut right off, severed, part of it right on the river as if it's floating, which is just so hard to believe. And then the twisted metal underneath part of this bridge as well. It is such a well-known landmark in the Twin Cities. And there are the cars you're mentioning, Cathy. I can see it on Channel 11 now, the vehicles you're mentioning that apparently were trying to merge onto the bridge as well.

CATHY WURZER: Yes. And there are at least-- I'm counting five to six at this point. And of course, this is not-- there are a number of cars that managed to get off the road. They're backed up off of 35W at this point. And it looks like, just from where my vantage point is, Tom-- and I'm walking around now behind this large dumpster, so I'm looking right at the damage. The bridge itself just snapped off, as you say, and just fell. And so looking at what's going on here, it's going to be quite a mess.

TOM CRANN: All right, Cathy. Thank you very much for the on-the-scene reporting tonight, on this incredible situation in downtown Minneapolis. We appreciate it. And I understand now that we have word from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, MnDOT. Let me just quickly update you again. If you are just tuning in to Minnesota Public Radio News, there has been a major freeway collapse, a major bridge collapse in downtown Minneapolis.

It's the I-35W bridge that crosses the Mississippi River near University Avenue. Both sides of the bridge-- it's four lanes of highway-- have collapsed. Reportedly, work crews were working on that resurfacing. We don't know at this point what, if anything, caused this, or is it related in any way to the work that was going on. But we do have this. I understand now, late word from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, a statement of what we know so far from MnDOT. And we bring it to you now on Minnesota Public Radio News.

JUDY MELANDER: We have maintenance and bridge crews that are onsite. At this point, we don't exactly know what happened. We're certainly going to get to the end of this. But the work that was going on at the time, we were doing some concrete rehab work to the bridge, just regular maintenance work. And we were also doing some improvements to the deicing system on the bridge.

ELIZABETH STAWICKI: Do you know what time any of this happened?

JUDY MELANDER: I think it happened after 6 o'clock. 6:00 PM is when-- right around 6:00 PM, a few minutes either side of it. Right now, I can tell you that we have got 35W southbound closed at Highway 36. And it's also closed northbound at 94. There's absolutely no access to 35W between these two points right now.

ELIZABETH STAWICKI: When was this bridge last inspected? Do you know?

JUDY MELANDER: Well, before we did the work, I'm sure it was quite recent. But I will have to find that exact date out for you.

ELIZABETH STAWICKI: Do you know how often these bridges are inspected? Is this a couple of years thing, or--

JUDY MELANDER: They're inspected on a regular basis. But what I'd like to do, so I can give you the real facts, is I want to find out exactly when this bridge was inspected. But we have a bridge inspection team that goes out on a regular basis. And they go through all the bridges, not only in the metro area but also outstate, and identify which ones need to be repaired and how serious those repairs are. So I will find out, though, the date that we did the last full inspection on this bridge for you.

ELIZABETH STAWICKI: If you don't know why it collapsed at this point, do you know how it collapsed?

JUDY MELANDER: You know what? Right now, I'm at the ops center, and they're watching the reports. We're going to be looking at some tapes. I can't really tell you that at this point. But I will be having a briefing as soon as I can put it together and as soon as I can get those facts, because they're so important to get out to folks in this tragedy.

ELIZABETH STAWICKI: Were there any workers that were injured in this?

JUDY MELANDER: I don't have a confirmed report. What I have heard is that at some point of the day, there were about 30 workers on the bridge. We are waiting to have that confirmed. I also heard that there were approximately 50 vehicles on the bridge, but that is yet to be confirmed. This is a tragedy. At this point, we're just looking into finding out why this happened. And as soon as we do, we are certainly going to let you know what happened. But at this point, that's all the facts that I have.

TOM CRANN: That's Judy Melander from MnDOT with Minnesota Public Radio's Elizabeth Stawicki in the newsroom. It's 7:13 on this Wednesday evening, and what Judy Melander was talking about is the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in downtown Minneapolis as it crosses the Mississippi River. The Associated Press puts it around 6:05 or so.

That stretch of roadway, one of the most-traveled stretches of roadways in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, collapsed into the Mississippi River. As you heard her say, we just don't have a whole lot of information. But she was talking about perhaps reports of 50 vehicles on that bridge. We do know from our Cathy Wurzer on the scene that there is quite the rescue operation going on, and there are rescue vehicles there from various Twin Cities municipalities.

We also heard from Judy Melander that 35W is obviously closed, traffic being diverted south at Highway-- traveling southbound from Highway 36 and traveling northbound from Interstate 94. And so again, that's what we have for you. Busy highway bridge in Minneapolis, 35W over the Mississippi River near University Avenue, has collapsed. I understand Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck is on the scene now. And he joins us now via cell phone. Tom, are you there?

TOM SCHECK: Hi, Tom. Yes, I'm actually on the north end of the 35W Bridge. And I'm just taking a look. There's a lot of spectators here who are actually looking at the scene as well, and there's photographers and news media. As you could probably tell from all the other discussions here, emergency personnel are hustling down. Some folks are hustling down with boats. Other folks are hustling down just to pitch in.

One folk said that they called the City of Minneapolis Police Department, and they said anyone who can come and help who's a law enforcement or emergency official is needed at this point. I actually just talked to Mark Dunaski, the head of the Minnesota State Patrol, and he said at this point in time they are basically just trying to coordinate their efforts, get the law enforcement there to try and do the rescue mission.

They're also saying that they've drilled for this in the past. So as scary as it sounds, that they're not surprised by this. They said that they've drilled for this. They've been ready for it. So the hospitals at this point are trying to staff up. They probably are trying to get their staff up. The Office of Emergency Personnel is also staffing up close by. I'll just give you a little bit of a scene of what I can see right now.

TOM CRANN: Tell us again, Tom, where you're standing, and what you can see.

TOM SCHECK: Sure. I am standing on the north end of 35W, and I am probably about 150 to 200 yards from where the bridge just drops off. There are cars that are just stopped.

TOM CRANN: So near Southeast 2nd Street, roughly.

TOM SCHECK: Yes, I believe so.

TOM CRANN: In Minneapolis, right. So you're close to the riverbank.

TOM SCHECK: Yes, I am. But I'm obviously higher up than that. And I can tell you that the bridge starts dropping off pretty dramatically, and the dropoff off is so dramatic that, as a matter of fact, it looks like there was a train running through at the same time. And it just smashed this train, like almost if you were squishing an aluminum can.

Now, it just drops off there, and then there's cars parked. I can see a school bus. I see a ton of black smoke at this point in time. Right now, it just looks like there's a lot of folks standing around, looking and watching to see what's next. Obviously, emergency personnel are trying to help some folks down there. But I can't see it at this point, because they have everything else roped off.

TOM CRANN: Right. And from what I can see on TV of this, obviously, it's a surreal scene. But it's eerie, and it looks eerily quiet except for the rescue vehicles. Would that be correct from where you sit and stand?

TOM SCHECK: Well, basically, all you hear right now-- and there are a ton of people around me-- are the helicopters from the TVs, and the sirens, and that is it. So everyone is just staring at this with mouths open. Some folks are taking pictures. And that's really it at this point.

TOM CRANN: Wow. All right. Tom Scheck, we will check in with you again here as conditions warrant, or let us know what's going on here. Here on Minnesota Public Radio News, Tom Scheck reporting live for us as we update you on a bridge collapse in Minneapolis. It's a very busy highway bridge. It's the Interstate 35W bridge. That's four lanes of interstate traffic. And the bridge has collapsed into the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis, very highly traveled this time of night. This happened a little more than an hour ago.

And we are getting reporters on the scene, and we are trying to bring you the most. We want to let you know, if you have pictures, if you're on the scene and you have information for us, you can if you are so inclined send them to our website as well at, and we pass them on to you.

Earlier, I tried to place a cell phone call-- quite a few of us, when we first saw this, tried to call loved ones here in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom, and the cell phone circuits were busy. I just got a call on my cell phone just a moment ago. Obviously we've talked to Tom Scheck and Cathy Wurzer, but we are being told that cell phone use should be limited to emergencies only because the circuits are being overloaded, or however the transmission works. And so you should be aware of that as well. So if you are trying to establish contact with loved ones, be aware that you may not be able to get through because the circuits are so busy.

But boy, the pictures as they're being shown here on live TV are just surreal, of twisted metal underneath the roadbed. The roadbed has collapsed. A portion of it looks surreally as if it is just floating on top of the Mississippi River. And this is a very high bridge. It's a landmark here in the Twin Cities, in Minneapolis, and one of the most-traveled. I think there might be something here that's worth noting, that it did happen at a little after 6 o'clock. And so traffic might have been just a bit lighter than it would have been, let's say, an hour earlier.

But again, we still have no reports of either the number of vehicles, of any injuries confirmed or any casualties in any way. But I just want to give you a quick update as we have it. A freeway bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis has collapsed. It sent many cars into the water. There are also portions of the roadway that have cars on them, and where rescue boats are trying to actually reach people who appear to be stranded on the roadway, on the roadbed, over the Mississippi River.

A tractor-trailer earlier was on fire at the scene, and it's created eerie plumes of black smoke according to our reporter, Tom Scheck, who is there. People are stranded on parts of the bridge that aren't completely in the water. Tons of concrete have collapsed. People are injured, and survivors shown earlier on TV being carried up the riverbank.

We also heard from an official with MnDOT telling us that the Highway 35W, Interstate 35W, is closed southbound at Highway 36 and northbound from Interstate 94. But they're saying there just is not a whole lot more information at this time, except that we're told that the control of the Minneapolis-- excuse me, the Minnesota State Patrol will also be on scene setting up a command or control facility as well, not far from the bridge collapse.

So I'd ask you to stay tuned to Minnesota Public Radio as we bring you the best and latest information from the newsroom as we get it. There really isn't a whole lot of new information, but some new information coming into me now from the Associated Press. And the Interstate 35W bridge, which spans between Minneapolis and St. Paul, was under construction when it broke into several huge sections and dozens of vehicles were scattered and stacked on top of each other amid the rubble. Some people were stranded on parts of the bridge, as we've mentioned, that aren't in the water.

And it collapsed at about 6:05, sending vehicles, tons of concrete, and twisted metal crashing into the Mississippi River, not far from downtown Minneapolis. This would be just north of downtown Minneapolis as the bridge, if you're traveling northbound on 35W, leaves the city and parallels the Cedar Avenue/10th Avenue Bridge. And this would be just due east, and very close, actually, to the River Road and the University of Minnesota campus as well, the Twin Cities campus of the U.

So as we get more information we will pass it on to you, and we will check in with our reporters who are on scene as well. So we're going to bring you back to The World here on Minnesota Public Radio News as they bring you information about Rupert Murdoch and the acquisition of the Wall Street Journal, and tell you that as we have more information, we will bring it to you live here on Minnesota Public Radio News. So stay with us throughout the evening.

ANDREW NEIL: This wall does not exist in Australian or British journalism. It has never existed in any of the newspapers that Mr. Murdoch has ever owned. And I suspect that Chinese wall will go, and that what the paper stands for will begin to motivate and influence and shape how the paper reports the news.

SPEAKER 5: I don't think there's any doubt that Mr. Murdoch will make The Wall Street Journal a livelier paper. Will there be Page Three girls in The Wall Street Journal?

ANDREW NEIL: [LAUGHS] You mean the topless girls he runs in The Sun in the United Kingdom?

SPEAKER 5: Exactly.

ANDREW NEIL: No. I'm sorry to tell Wall Street Journal readers that there will be no topless women in The Wall Street Journal, I'm afraid. No, he's not a stupid man. He ain't going to devalue the Journal's franchise. After all, he's kept The Times of London and The Sunday Times of London as quality newspapers, and he knows that the Journal's reputation is for accuracy in its reporting and for being a serious paper. And he takes business news very seriously, too. I mean, he devours business news.

But whether the news agenda will be as independent as before, that is open to doubt. And I think the bigger issue will also be-- I mean, Rupert Murdoch is not just a newspaperman. He's a massive media businessman. And when there's a conflict between what the Journal wants to report and his own business interests, who will win out? The record suggests, from what papers he already owns-- and I know this from firsthand experience-- that his own business interests will win out, and that newspapers he owns never publish anything that is detrimental to his business interests.

SPEAKER 5: Is that why he has the focus on a business newspaper? So it can support his business interests?

ANDREW NEIL: No, I don't think that's the primary purpose. I don't think that's why he wants it, no. He has a grand vision for the Journal. He sees it as a multiplatform play. He will reinvigorate the Journal as a newspaper. He will go head-to-head with The New York Times in the United States, and head-to-head with The Financial Times in Europe and in Asia. He will make the Journal and Dow a far bigger force on the internet than it is at the moment. And of course, he'll roll out that franchise into television with a new financial channel, which will start in America, but very quickly go global.

He doesn't want the Journal to bolster his own business interests. All I'm saying is when it becomes a trial of strength between a story the Journal wants to write that could damage his business interests, and his own business interests, I would guess Mr. Murdoch would win. I mean, we know how his own publications, the existing ones, have reported China, which has been with kid gloves. And I would have to say you really wouldn't want to be the Beijing correspondent of The Wall Street Journal at this particular moment.

SPEAKER 5: The newspapers that he's owned haven't been especially successful financially. It seems like they are part of a greater business machine for him. What does The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones add to that global business machine of Rupert Murdoch?

ANDREW NEIL: Well, you have to be careful. He's owned a lot of papers that have made a ton of money, and he's owned a lot of papers that have lost money. So he has made money out of successful newspapers. But the fact is that the Journal itself has not been very profitable. Its profits have been derisory.

And I think Murdoch believes that the Journal is a badly run newspaper, that there's a lot of fat in it, that it could be a lot more profitable if only it was run with a more dynamic management and a more global vision, a more multiplatform vision of where it should be. And that's where he will aim to do. He will not aim to lose money on The Wall Street Journal.

SPEAKER 5: Mr. Neil, as a consumer of news in the UK where Murdoch has quite a few ventures, tell us what we can expect here in the United States with a Murdoch-run paper. How might things change contentwise, editorially?

ANDREW NEIL: You will see a greater pace to the journalism. You will see shorter articles. He doesn't like long articles.

SPEAKER 5: Does shorter news mean dumbed down?

ANDREW NEIL: It can mean dumbed down, though it can also mean that stories have been edited. There's a lot of American journalism in The New York Times or The Washington Post, or even the Journal, which badly needed an editor to cut them down and make them more succinct. There's a lot of journalism that is not properly edited in the United States as he would regard it. As I would regard it, too.

Sometimes your heart sinks when you look at an American newspaper and you start reading the story, and then you turn usually to page 29, section D, to see there's another 4,000 words to go, and you just wonder if anybody's ever edited that kind of journalism. I think that the British-Australian journalistic discipline will be brought to bear on the words. That will not necessarily be a bad thing, I don't think.

SPEAKER 5: Hey, hey, hey, watch it. [LAUGHS]

ANDREW NEIL: [LAUGHS] Hey, you've got to learn how to write succinctly, not longwindedly.


ANDREW NEIL: And stop repeating yourself. [LAUGHS]

SPEAKER 5: Last question. What's next for Rupert Murdoch? Is there more? Is there anything left to be acquired for him?

ANDREW NEIL: Oh, I'm sure there is. If there are any newspapers on the moon, he may want to have a go at them, or on Mars. No, I think he's got what he's always wanted. He's always wanted a major American newspaper franchise with a global dimension to it. And that's what the Journal gives him. He hates The New York Times. He hates the Financial Times. He will have the time of his life, in his late 70s, going head-to-head with both these papers, with a title which is at least as powerful as both of them. So he's going to be like a kid in a candy store, I suspect.

SPEAKER 5: Andrew Neil is a former editor in one of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, The London Sunday Times, and also worked for Mr. Murdoch at Sky TV. Mr. Neil, thank you for joining us.

ANDREW NEIL: Thank you. Good to talk to you.

SPEAKER 5: Will Rupert Murdoch's takeover of Dow Jones be good for The Wall Street Journal? Join our online discussion at


TOM CRANN: This is Minnesota Public Radio News. I'm Tom Crann in the newsroom on this early Wednesday evening, at 7:29 now. And about an hour and a half ago, a little less than an hour and a half ago, we had a major bridge collapse in downtown Minneapolis. The Interstate 35W bridge, at University Avenue as it crosses the Mississippi River, has collapsed.

There was work being done on the bridge, we understand. We don't know how it's connected. A MnDOT spokesperson has told us that details are still sketchy. But we do have Minnesota Public Radio reporters on the scene. Our own Cathy Wurzer is there now. We talked to her earlier. And Cathy, tell us exactly where you are and what you're seeing right now, please.

CATHY WURZER: I'm right by the Metal-Matic plant, which folks who've driven across 35W will know it well. As you're going into Minneapolis, it's on your right-hand side on 35W. And I'm with Adam Noe. Adam's from Minneapolis. He actually lives around here. And Adam and I are literally steps from his Jeep Cherokee. He managed to climb out. He was on 35W at the time of the collapse. And Tom, if you're OK, I'm going to hand the phone over to Adam. Adam?

ADAM NOE: Hello.

TOM CRANN: Hello, Adam. Yes. Adam, if you could tell me what exactly happened at that moment of collapse, and just give us the story that happened to you, and let us know.

ADAM NOE: We were going southbound on 35W. And we had just started to come over the bridge, right where University Avenue onramp comes in. And about 100 yards after that, we were in rush hour traffic just sitting there and talking about work. And I heard this loud bang, the loudest noise I've ever heard. And then we just looked ahead and the bridge started to collapse, collapse right there. And we just-- my buddy tried-- I was a passenger, and my friend had a quick reflex and jumped out quick and was actually on the bridge when it fell back, the portion that fell next to the Metal-Matic place.

TOM CRANN: That would be on the northbound side of downtown Minneapolis. You were traveling south toward the city?

ADAM NOE: Yeah, we're traveling south toward the city, right past University.

TOM CRANN: And so what happened to-- you and your friend were in the vehicle, and what happened to the vehicle?

ADAM NOE: Well, the two cars ahead of us just stayed. We happened to be lucky enough to be in the only section that was pretty much level. And then the front and back fell, and we slid on the back side and slid down onto the ground.

TOM CRANN: You slid onto the ground from the bridge. How far would you estimate that fall was?

ADAM NOE: Probably about 60 yards.

TOM CRANN: Uh-huh. And was your vehicle destroyed in this, or is it still-- has it been pulled up, or--

ADAM NOE: Nothing's been pulled up at the site where all the people that-- I'm looking at seven cars, that are the only cars on the southbound side before the ones that went off the bridge.

TOM CRANN: And where you were, you could see the collapse happen?

ADAM NOE: Yes. I was going southbound, and it collapsed right in front of the vehicle.

TOM CRANN: Right in front of the vehicle. So you were able to stop just before the collapsed part. What was it like? Describe what you saw at that moment of collapse.

ADAM NOE: I saw the-- it was the craziest thing I've seen, the Washington exit sign go from standing up to just straight down, and it seemed like slow motion. And I just didn't even-- it was just a dream mode as soon as that happened. And that's when my buddy panicked and jumped out of the car, and then I slid back with the car.

TOM CRANN: At the time, how heavy would you say the traffic was? Because this was after 6 o'clock.

ADAM NOE: Well--

TOM CRANN: You said you were stopped in traffic, rush hour traffic.

ADAM NOE: It was still rush hour. The bridge being under construction, our estimated speed right before it happened was only maybe 20 miles an hour. You couldn't see-- we were bumper-to-bumper, the whole interstate.

TOM CRANN: And did you see the section of the roadway collapse with cars on it? Any cars go into the river, or did they just go straight down on the roadway?

ADAM NOE: I believe it's collapsed straight forward. Because we couldn't see, because we slid back. And then right immediately after the accident, we tried to look. I tried. My friend went to the hospital.

TOM CRANN: All right. Adam Noe, thank you very much for your eyewitness account of things. I assume that you and your friend are safe and sound. No injuries?

ADAM NOE: No. I heard from my buddy. He's in there right now. It doesn't seem to be major, so.

TOM CRANN: Yeah, OK. So you've actually talked to him. Well, jeez, the best of luck. And thanks for speaking with us tonight under these conditions. We appreciate it.

ADAM NOE: Thank you.

TOM CRANN: That's Adam Noe, who is a witness to the bridge collapse tonight on Interstate 35W. He was traveling southbound toward downtown Minneapolis and saw the bridge collapse, and just stopped just short of that. Understand we have a couple of other Minnesota Public Radio reporters on the line right now. And should we go to Dan Olson first, or Marisa Helms? We'll go to Marisa Helms. Marisa Helms is there live. And Marisa, tell us what you're seeing right now.

MARISA HELMS: Right now, there's a lot of police cars and a lot of chaos going on, with trucks coming in and out. And the cops are pretty much roping off the area near the Red Cross staging site, so they really won't let us go in any further. There's a lot of people milling around that are concerned about their loved ones. I have Jose Brizuela with me here. He is the father of a couple of kids who were on the school bus that collapsed, and here he is right now, if you want to speak with him.

TOM CRANN: I do. Jose.

MARISA HELMS: You're on the line.


TOM CRANN: Hello, is this Jose?


TOM CRANN: Hello, Jose. Please tell us about the school bus. Where was the school bus from?

JOSE BRIZUELA: That school, that's an official school they go by afternoons, and also during this-- it's a summer school they are in. It's a Waite House name. It's a community school. It's on 13th Avenue and 26th Street, South Minneapolis.

TOM CRANN: From South Minneapolis. And are you aware of any injuries on that school bus, or was it evacuated? How many people were on it? What can you tell us?

JOSE BRIZUELA: Honestly, I don't know how many there were there. I know all the children, they're OK, except the teacher, Julie.

TOM CRANN: Except the teacher. And what do we know about her?

JOSE BRIZUELA: I just know that she was injured, but I don't know anything else about her.

TOM CRANN: But you haven't heard of any injuries of any of the kids who were on the bus. Can you tell us what age or what level of school the kids were? How old were they?

JOSE BRIZUELA: All of them, they are from-- give me a chance.



Five years old to--

TOM CRANN: Five years old, yeah.

JOSE BRIZUELA: 15, I guess, all of them.

TOM CRANN: Five to 15. And they were evacuated safely. Do you know how many--

JOSE BRIZUELA: Yeah, all of them.

TOM CRANN: Yeah, all of them.

JOSE BRIZUELA: One of the other people who were in charge of them, we just found him here very close to the Red Cross buildings. He told us all of them, they are here. But probably they are receiving first aid just to check, just to be sure all of them, they are OK.

TOM CRANN: OK. Well, Jose, thank you very much for your eyewitness account here. If we could speak once again to Marisa Helms, our Minnesota Public Radio reporter who's on the scene. As you can hear in the background there, there must be quite a rescue operation going on, sirens, first aid being administered. And Marisa Helms, can you hear me?

JOSE BRIZUELA: Yeah. Well, there's a lot of ambulances around here.


JOSE BRIZUELA: I can't hear you anymore.

TOM CRANN: It's Jose, still.

JOSE BRIZUELA: Anyway, I appreciate you contact me.

TOM CRANN: Well, thank you. Thank you for your eyewitness account of this. And if you could hand the phone back to Marisa Helms, we'll tell Marisa to stand by. But right now, we are going to check in with Dan Olson. Minnesota Public Radio's Dan Olson is live for us on the Stone Arch Bridge. And Dan, good evening, and tell us what you're seeing there from the Stone Arch Bridge. You must have a very good view of things.

DAN OLSON: Tom, the collapsed 35W north-south span is one bridge away from me. I'm on the Stone Arch Bridge, midspan. The next bridge downriver, as you already have heard, is the 10th Avenue Bridge, which is now closed to all traffic.


DAN OLSON: And then just beyond that is the downed span. Tom, what we have in front of us is a group of emergency vehicles very nearly filling the 10th Avenue Bridge. We have emergency flotilla there in the river below the 10th Avenue Bridge. We have a large military helicopter that just seconds ago came in, made a very large circle, and cleared out the fives news helicopters for television that are watching this, and made a big circle. And for a time, seconds ago, hovered over and has just moved off.

Already you've understood from your eyewitnesses that this is just-- the span that collapsed, 35W north and south, is just downriver from the Guthrie Theater on the west bank. The University of Minnesota is right next to it on the east bank. We have about 2,000 or so people here on the Stone Arch Bridge simply standing, looking, watching.

And we have had two emergency vehicles traverse this Stone Arch Bridge, which as you know is closed to vehicular traffic and has pedestrian and bike traffic only. The streets in downtown Minneapolis, Tom, are chaotic. People who think they might want to be part of this spectacle are advised to really stay away. The traffic is just snarled.

I just turned around now, and I'm looking upriver at the 3rd Avenue Bridge, which is very nearly stopped dead. And just beyond that, the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, the suspension bridge is mostly free-flowing. But downtown streets are now nearly choked with emergency vehicles. There goes the transit police SUV headed the other direction here on the Stone Arch Bridge.

TOM CRANN: Right. I understand there are a lot of official emergency vehicles from all over the Twin Cities metro who have responded to this. But it must be-- just to look and see where that bridge used to be, and not see that great span there, must be just a surreal sight. Can you see, have they managed to put out the fire and the smoke that was billowing earlier there, Dan?

DAN OLSON: I don't know if they've completely put it out, Tom. But as I arrived, there were white clouds that then turned to blacks clouds of smoke, which was like a very large fireworks display, the kind of cloud you see after that. But now those clouds have completely dissipated. I see just a hint of white smoke on the west bank side, which would be the south side of the span. And that indicates to me that much of the fire has been put out.

But again, it's just a very difficult situation, you can imagine. Here onlookers are just passing by me, in front of me, on bikes and on foot, as all of us are trying to make sense of this and figure out what has happened. As you know, Tom-- you've been told already, I'm sure-- that this span, 35W, was undergoing repair--

TOM CRANN: Undergoing repair, yeah.

DAN OLSON: --by contractors for Minnesota Department of Transportation. And so I'm sure this will all be a factor in the ensuing investigation.

TOM CRANN: Yeah. We are told that there will be a further statement from MnDOT. Our Elizabeth Stawicki reached someone at MnDOT earlier, and they didn't have all that much in the way of information. But when we hear more from them, we will bring it to you. Dan Olson, thank you very much, and I appreciate your reporting for this tonight.

We're going to get an update now here. Just if you're tuning in to Minnesota Public Radio News and you're listening and wondering what's going on, Mike Mulcahy is here with me in the studio from the newsroom, and we'll try to give you an update of what we know. Here is one of the things that we have just heard, and it's via the Associated Press. Apparently WCCO, one of their reporters, has confirmed that there has been at least one death now in this bridge collapse.

MIKE MULCAHY: Right, Tom. At least one death. It's unconfirmed by officials at this point. It's a media report. But we do know that this happened about 6 o'clock tonight. The entire span of the bridge, Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River, collapsed. We know that it was rush hour traffic. Traffic was very heavy. We know that several vehicles fell, went down into the river.

TOM CRANN: MnDOT says perhaps as many as 50, although they can't confirm that number of vehicles were actually on the span at the time. It seems to me that that's fairly light for that time of night.

MIKE MULCAHY: We know that there was at least one school bus, and we just heard from a witness who said that the kids on that school bus were from five to 15 years old, that as far as he knew, they were able to get off the bus. They were not injured. But he did say that a teacher was injured. And we know that school bus was from a school, a community school, in South Minneapolis.

We know that there are dozens of cars involved in this. We know that the injured, many of the injured have been taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. But we have not received word from there how many are injured, or the extent of the injuries. But certainly lots of questions that remain to be answered. The primary question is, why did this happen? Bridges do not fall down. We know that there was construction--

TOM CRANN: Construction going on.

MIKE MULCAHY: --of some sort going on. Sounded like resurfacing, and--

TOM CRANN: Resurfacing is one of the reports, yeah.

MIKE MULCAHY: --working on some of the ice-melting systems on the bridge. But why that would cause this to happen, just a big question mark at this point.

TOM CRANN: Right. And we expect to hear from MnDOT. We're told there will be further information from MnDOT as well. The pictures have been dramatic. People stranded on parts of the bridge that aren't completely in the water. And it looked earlier as if part of the road surface was actually either suspended between the two riverbanks or floating on the river, with boats-- as Dan Olson described it, a flotilla of rescue boats getting people off and out of their vehicles, presumably.

MIKE MULCAHY: And Tom, we do know that the Homeland Security Department has said that they've had no indication that this has anything to do with terrorism. They said they are monitoring the situation. But at this point, nothing to indicate that this had anything to do with terrorism.

TOM CRANN: And that's according to Homeland Security, speaking earlier on television.


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