The Minneapolis Star Tribune and other news outlets in the Twin Cities are now reporting that divers are recovering bodies from the Mississippi River following last week’s collapse of the 35W bridge near downtown Minneapolis.
After nearly eight full days of searching, the known death toll caused by the bridge failure is now seven people. Complete profiles of those known dead and still missing can be found on Minnesota Public Radio’s web site.
Photo: Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Star Tribune and Associated Press report that:
Dave Hayhoe, the police homicide unit commander, announced the recoveries ahead of a briefing on the investigation, the Associated Press reported. He said the bodies were recovered by divers, but gave no other information.
“Right now the first priority is notifying the families,” Hayhoe said.
Five people were known dead in the Aug. 1 collapse, with at least eight more known missing and presumed dead. Crews have been searching in and around the Mississippi River since the disaster for the missing.
The victims weren’t immediately identified.
The list of confirmed missing includes Christine Sacorafas, 45, of White Bear Lake; Vera Peck, 50, and her son Richard Chit, 20, both of Bloomington; Greg Jolstad, 45, of Mora; Peter Hausmann, 47, of Rosemount; Sadiya Sahal, 23, of St. Paul, and her 2-year-old daughter, Hanah; and Scott Sathers, 29, of Maple Grove.
Navy dive teams are assisting local rescue teams with the recovery efforts, providing skills and equipment that enable them to dive lower and more effectively given the tenuous situation of the bridge damage that remains covering a large portion of the river. The bridge is believed to collapsed upon several vehicles and rests on top of vehicles pinned in the murky river bottom.
Several vehicles have been pulled from the water in the last two days, none of them containing bodies.
The State Patrol said 88 vehicles have been located at the collapse site, including those in the Mississippi River.