Cars, I-35 Bridge Parts to Be Raised from River

Christina Sacorafas

hide captionChristina Sacorafas is among those missing in the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Parishioners prayed for her during Sunday services at St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded the first phase of its investigation into what caused the I-35 West bridge to collapse into the Mississippi River during rush hour on Wednesday.

NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker says the board has now authorized the Minnesota Department of Transportation to begin pulling bridge debris out of the river.

Investigators also plan to fly around the bridge wreckage in a helicopter equipped with a high-resolution camera, and they have used laser-guided surveying equipment to make an in-depth map of the debris field.

Rosenker said investigators would also examine inspection reports from recent years, many of which deemed the bridge structurally deficient.

He said it would take months for the NTSB to compile and process its data and complete the investigation.

Search and recovery efforts continue in the Mississippi River waters. Minneapolis police say they believe there are eight people who remain missing. The death toll from the collapse stands at five people.

An interfaith prayer service and vigil is being held Sunday night at a downtown Minneapolis church. Hundreds of people are expected to attend, to remember and pray for the victims and their families.

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