Τμήμα γέφυρας στο Σιάτλ κατέρρευσε images.watchit.grμε αποτέλεσμα άνθρωποι και αυτοκίνητα να βρεθούν ξαφνικά στο νερό! Μέχρι στιγμής έχουν απομακρυνθεί από το νερό τουλάχιστον τρεις άνθρωποι.

Η γέφυρα που περνά πάνω από τον ποταμό Skagit είχε τέσσερις λωρίδες κυκλοφορίας.

Κατέρρευσε υπό αδιευκρίνιστες για την ώρα συνθήκες στις 19:00 το απόγευμα (τοπική ώρα), ρίχνοντας στο νερό ανθρώπους και αυτοκίνητα, ανακοίνωσαν οι αρχές της πολιτείας της Ουάσινγκτον.
Σύμφωνα με αυτόπτη μάρτυρα, πριν καταρρεύσει η γέφυρα είχε “κολλήσει” πάνω ένα φορτηγό.

Δεν είναι σαφές ακόμη πόσοι άνθρωποι έχουν πέσει στο νερό κι αν υπάρχουν θύματα δήλωσε ο έφιππος αστυνομικός, Μαρκ Φράνσις, σύμφωνα με το CBS News.
Οι τελευταίες πληροφορίες όμως αναφέρουν πως ήδη έχουν ανασυρθεί από το νερό τρεις άνθρωποι και δυο έχουν μεταφερθεί στο νοσοκομείο.Ένας κάτοικος της περιοχής, ο Xavier Grospe, που μένει κοντά στο σημείο όπου κατέρρευσε η γέφυρα, δήλωσε πως είδε τουλάχιστον τρία αυτοκίνητα στο νερό. Σε κάθε ένα, υπήρχε μέσα τουλάχιστον ένας άνθρωπος.

Σε εξέλιξη είναι επιχείρηση απεγκλωβισμού των οδηγών που έχουν πέσει στο νερό.
http://www.ustream.tv/cbsnews
Πηγη: NewsIt.gr

The Interstate 5 Bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed around 7 p.m. on Thursday, dumping cars and people into the water, KIRO-TV reported.

According to the Trooper Mark Francis, public information officer for the Washington State Patrol, both north and southbound lanes of the interstate were affected.

At least three cars were on the span when it fell into the river. Rescue teams are currently searching the water for survivors.

Several people have been spotted sitting on their submerged cars, waiting for help. First responders have already pulled one man off the roof of his vehicle, prompting nearby eyewitnesses to applaud, The Skagit Valley Herald reported.

There was no immediate word on injuries. Cause of the collapse is unknown at this time.

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area. The freeway has also been closed, Northwest Cable News reported.

The 1,111-ft. Skagit River Bridge is located between Burlington and Mt. Vernon, about 60 miles north of Seattle. Built in 1955, BridgeHunter.com notes that the four-lane structure sees an average daily traffic of about 71,000.

Bart Treece with the Washington State Department of Transportation told KOMO News that he was unsure when the bridge was last inspected.

“All of our bridges in the area are pretty old,” he said.

One in nine of the nation’s bridges has been rated as structurally deficient, the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure reported. The Seattle chapter of the ASCE awarded the state’s bridges a C- grade.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that it would cost $20.5 billion a year to eliminate the country’s bridge deficient backlog by 2028.

MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — An Interstate 5 bridge over a river north of Seattle collapsed Thursday evening, dumping vehicles and people into the water.

There was no immediate estimate of how many people were in the water or whether there were any injuries or deaths. Trooper Mark Francis said a portion of the four-lane bridge over the Skagit River collapsed about 7 p.m.

Kari Ranten, a spokeswoman for Skagit Valley Hospital, said two people who were injured in the collapse were en route to the facility. She said another person was being transported to a different area hospital.

It also was not known what caused the collapse of the bridge about 60 miles north of Seattle in Skagit County, which stretches from the North Cascades National Park to a cluster of islands off the Washington coast.

Xavier Grospe, 62, who lives near the river, said he could see three cars with what appeared to be one person per vehicle. The vehicles were sitting still in the water, partially submerged and partly above the waterline, and the apparent drivers were sitting either on top of the vehicles or on the edge of open windows.

“It doesn’t look like anybody’s in danger right now,” Grospe said.

Helicopter footage aired by KOMO-TV in Seattle showed several rescue boats at the bridge collapse scene with several ambulances waiting on the shore. One rescue boat left the scene with one person strapped into a stretcher.

A damaged red car and a damaged pickup truck were visible in the water, which appeared so shallow it barely reached the top of the car’s hood.

Crowds of people lined the river to watch the scene unfold.

“It’s not something you see every day,” said Jimmy O’Connor, the owner of two local pizza restaurants who was driving on another bridge parallel to the one that collapsed. “People were starting to crawl out of their cars.”

He said he and his girlfriend were about 400 yards away on the Burlington Bridge when they heard “just a loud bang.”

“Then we looked over and saw the bridge was down in the water,” he said.

He pulled over and saw three vehicles in the water, including a camping trailer that landed upside-down, he said.

The bridge is not considered structurally deficient but is listed as being “functionally obsolete” – a category meaning that their design is outdated, such as having narrow shoulders are low clearance underneath, according to a database compiled by the Federal Highway Administration.

The bridge was built in 1955 and has a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100, according to federal records. That is well below the statewide average rating of 80, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data, but 759 bridges in the state have a lower sufficiency score.

According to a 2012 Skagit County Public Works Department, 42 of the county’s 108 bridges that are 50 years or older. The document says eight of the bridges are more than 70 years old and two are over 80.

Washington state was given a C in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 infrastructure report card and a C- when it came to the state’s bridges. The group said more than a quarter of Washington’s 7,840 bridges are considered structurally deficient of functionally obsolete.

___

Baker reported from Olympia, Wash. Associated Press writer Terry Tang in Phoenix also contributed to this report.

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The 1,111-ft. Skagit River Bridge is located between Burlington and Mt. Vernon, about 60 miles north of Seattle. Built in 1955, BridgeHunter.com notes that the four-lane structure sees an average daily traffic of about 71,000.

Bart Treece with the Washington State Department of Transportation told KOMO News that he was unsure when the bridge was last inspected.

“All of our bridges in the area are pretty old,” he said.

One in nine of the nation’s bridges has been rated as structurally deficient, the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure reported. The Seattle chapter of the ASCE awarded the state’s bridges a C- grade.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that it would cost $20.5 billion a year to eliminate the country’s bridge deficient backlog by 2028.

MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — An Interstate 5 bridge over a river north of Seattle collapsed Thursday evening, dumping vehicles and people into the water.

There was no immediate estimate of how many people were in the water or whether there were any injuries or deaths. Trooper Mark Francis said a portion of the four-lane bridge over the Skagit River collapsed about 7 p.m.

Kari Ranten, a spokeswoman for Skagit Valley Hospital, said two people who were injured in the collapse were en route to the facility. She said another person was being transported to a different area hospital.

It also was not known what caused the collapse of the bridge about 60 miles north of Seattle in Skagit County, which stretches from the North Cascades National Park to a cluster of islands off the Washington coast.

Xavier Grospe, 62, who lives near the river, said he could see three cars with what appeared to be one person per vehicle. The vehicles were sitting still in the water, partially submerged and partly above the waterline, and the apparent drivers were sitting either on top of the vehicles or on the edge of open windows.

“It doesn’t look like anybody’s in danger right now,” Grospe said.

Helicopter footage aired by KOMO-TV in Seattle showed several rescue boats at the bridge collapse scene with several ambulances waiting on the shore. One rescue boat left the scene with one person strapped into a stretcher.

A damaged red car and a damaged pickup truck were visible in the water, which appeared so shallow it barely reached the top of the car’s hood.

Crowds of people lined the river to watch the scene unfold.

“It’s not something you see every day,” said Jimmy O’Connor, the owner of two local pizza restaurants who was driving on another bridge parallel to the one that collapsed. “People were starting to crawl out of their cars.”

He said he and his girlfriend were about 400 yards away on the Burlington Bridge when they heard “just a loud bang.”

“Then we looked over and saw the bridge was down in the water,” he said.

He pulled over and saw three vehicles in the water, including a camping trailer that landed upside-down, he said.

The bridge is not considered structurally deficient but is listed as being “functionally obsolete” – a category meaning that their design is outdated, such as having narrow shoulders are low clearance underneath, according to a database compiled by the Federal Highway Administration.

The bridge was built in 1955 and has a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100, according to federal records. That is well below the statewide average rating of 80, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data, but 759 bridges in the state have a lower sufficiency score.

According to a 2012 Skagit County Public Works Department, 42 of the county’s 108 bridges that are 50 years or older. The document says eight of the bridges are more than 70 years old and two are over 80.

Washington state was given a C in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 infrastructure report card and a C- when it came to the state’s bridges. The group said more than a quarter of Washington’s 7,840 bridges are considered structurally deficient of functionally obsolete.

___

Baker reported from Olympia, Wash. Associated Press writer Terry Tang in Phoenix also contributed to this report.

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