Witness: 'A Huge Plume of Debris and Dust'

"It took my mind a little bit of time to determine what my eyes had seen," says a man who watched the I-35 West bridge collapse from a nearby hotel. "I saw a huge plume of debris and dust rising as if you were watching a film of one of these old buildings being demolished."

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And let's wrap up this part of the program with a quick update on the story we've been following all morning. It's the collapse of a freeway bridge in Minneapolis. We're told this morning that at least four people are dead. That number has been revised downward, but many more people are wounded, and many are missing. There were also those who narrowly escaped the disaster.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Many who stood nearby noticed a school bus in the wreckage with 60 kids on board. The bus had been crossing the bridge when the span gave out beneath it. The bus somehow landed on its wheels, managed to stay upright, and didn't plunge into the river the river. All the kids on board managed to get off the bus.

INSKEEP: Shiraz Din(ph) and his girlfriend actually did fall into the Mississippi. But he survived to tell a local paper that they managed to get out of the driver's window of the vehicle, and then they clambered to safety.

We'll continue to bring you more information as we learn more about that bridge collapse. You are listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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