MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed Thursday evening, injuring a unknown number of people.And the inevitable:
Both the northbound and southbound portions of the bridge dropped into the river sometime before 7 p.m., according to Washington State Patrol trooper Mark Francis.
Francis said several cars were on the bridge when it collapsed, and many are now in the water.
It's unclear how many people were injured or killed in the collapse.
This is a developing story that will be updated when more information is available.
Bart Treece with the Washington State Department of Transportation was unsure when the bridge was last inspected.
"All of our bridges in the area are pretty old," he said.
This just happened 10 minutes ago so not much else available.
Prayers and good thoughts to those in cars and first responders.
From King 5 News:
Link to KOMO News with photo
More just now from the Idaho Press Tribune:
Rescue crews have swarmed to the area to redirect traffic around the site and look for people still in the river, and a Sheriff's Office rescue boat also has arrived. Traffic is reportedly backed up at several roadways and authorities are in the area attempting to help people out of the water.~~~~~~
Skagit County is a rural community roughly half-way between Seattle and the Canadian border, at the base of the North Cascade mountains.
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.
Crowds of people lined the river to watch the scene unfold, The Skagit-Valley Herald reported.
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 or functionally obsolete.