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Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Navy, FBI divers join search for victims

August 8, 2007

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— An elite team of Navy divers joined the search for victims of the interstate bridge collapse Tuesday, bringing to the job lessons learned from such disasters as TWA Flight 800 and the loss of the space shuttle Columbia.

The team of 16 divers and a five-member command crew arrived a day earlier. Once their gear arrived before dawn Tuesday, several divers immediately entered the Mississippi River even though local officials encouraged them to wait until daybreak.

Also Tuesday, state officials laid out tentative plans for the bridge reconstruction, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty said his office was considering a victims' compensation fund.

The dive team's arrival raised hopes of speeding the recovery operation.

At least eight people are missing and presumed dead in last week's collapse, with perhaps more still in the river. Five people are confirmed dead.

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