Skip to comments.I-5 bridge collapses over Skagit River, sending vehicles, people into water
Posted on 05/24/2013 12:18:57 AM PDT by djf
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. A portion of an Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River, about 60 miles north of Seattle, collapsed Thursday, sending three vehicles and people plunging into the cold water at least 50 feet below.
Amazingly, there were no fatalities, Skagit County authorities said. Three people were pulled from the river and taken to Skagit Valley Hospital and United General Hospital; two were reported to be in stable condition, the other had minor injuries and was being released Thursday night.
The survivor who was released was identified as Dan Sligh, 47. His wife, Sally Sligh, 56, remained in the hospital. The other injured person was reported to be a 20-year-old man.
Both the northbround and southbound lanes of the northern section of the bridge collapsed at about 7 p.m.
This section of I-5 runs between the Washington cities of Burlington and Mount Vernon.
When rescuers arrived, people were sitting on top of their submerged cars. The water is about 18 feet deep where the bridge collapse took place.
Gov. Jay Inslee headed to the scene to monitor the rescue efforts, and the National Transportation Safety Board said it was monitoring the situation as well.
Inslee later told a news conference that repairing the bridge is job No. 1″ and that its unknown how long it will take to replace the bridge. I-5 is a main north-south arterial for northwestern Washington state.He said he will authorize the Transportation Department to establish detour routes to minimize impact on traffic and commerce.
Witnesses say a truck hit the bridge and caused it to collapse, but an investigation has been launched to confirm that, Inslee said. Any witnesses or people with information should contact the State Patrol.
The National Transportation Safety Board is on their way tomorrow, and Ive been in touch with our federal partners. We will be involved in a vigorous and diligent effort to get traffic flowing again through the Skagit bridge corridor and I will issue an emergency proclamation tomorrow to make sure we have the resources to do so as quickly as possible, Inslee said.
Goskagit.com said one driver who had just crossed the bridge shortly before it collapsed told a reporter he felt a vibration and looked in his rear view mirror to see that the section of bridge he had just crossed was no longer behind him.
I thought something was wrong with my car at first, the man told the reporter about feeling the vibration.
The bridge was built in 1955, was inspected last November and it received passing grades, Treece said.
How does one sit on top of a vehicle "submerged" in 18 feet of water?
I’m in unincorporated Pierce county, well east of Tacoma, and there are many farmers and livestock owners around.
Pretty conservative here.
Face it, Tacoma, Bellevue, and Seattle run the state. And if they can’t honestly win an election, they have ZERO trepidation about outright STEALING it!
and obama and the dems will blame republicans.
even though they aren’t in power in washington state.
It is after 1am and I am tired. the federal government wasn’t involved in the highway system till after June 29, 1956 so it was probably a state thing. I am to tired to find out who that was so I choose harry. He is a democrat.
That area - Seattle and even Bellevue - is worse than NYC. In the latter case, people for the most part believe in God and acknowledge right and wrong even if they don't live it, but the Pacific Northwest's urban and suburban areas lie covered with a cloud of active hostility to anything good and right. It's a different, more ominous, more evil form of leftist ideology.
The bridge is in the water. The roadway surface of the bridge ended up just below the surface of the water.
The pictures at the link below show it...click on the pictures for larger view [Getty Images cannot be posted here].
Also please notice that the places where the bridge steel is bent or ripped apart apparently were already marked with orange paint before the collapse [to the left of the cars and in the upper left corner].
Yeah, but Ike was inspired by the German Autobahn, so it’s uhh... that guy’s fault.
Looks like rust, not paint, to me.
Ferrous nice, Bender2.
Thanks. Hard to believe that’s an interstate bridge. Looks like potential trout water, though.
have 15 foot legs
Surprisingly, trout in the Washington rivers west of the cascades are somewhat rare.
The young (and the adult) salmon are ravenous!
The steelhead too will devour young trout.
I did, though, get a VERY nice about 14 inch rainbow in the White river one year.
Lots of salmon in there at the right time of year too. I live a mile from this bridge on this river. I drove over AND under that bridge today. Didn’t hear it happen, someone texted me about an hour later. Glad no one was killed but traffic is gonna be hell around here for 3 years I betcha.
I live in Burlington 1 mile from the bridge and I am amazed that they are routing traffic over the 536 bridge which is a much older draw bridge through downtown Mt. Vernon. Not going to be fun to go anywhere around here for quite some time.
Whoa that’s bad.
That doesn’t look like a 50 foot drop to the water to me. 30 feet tops.
As you might expect, this was on the local news all evening. And they were calling it a 20 or 30 foot drop.
Still - that’s one hell of a pothole, eh?