Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2007

Divers recover 2 more bodies from bridge

August 11, 2007

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— Recovery workers pulled human remains from the wreckage of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse on Friday, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's office.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner added Sadiya Sahal, 22, and her daughter, Hana, 22 months, to the list of confirmed dead.

The recovery brings the number of dead in the Aug. 1 catastrophe to eight and reduces the confirmed missing to five.

The list of the confirmed missing includes Christine Sacorafas, 45; Vera Peck, 50, and her son Richard Chit, 20; Greg Jolstad, 45, and Scott Sathers, 29.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Friday that Peter Hausmann, a father of four who survived the bridge collapse and escaped from his van only to perish trying to help other victims, died of drowning.

Earlier Friday, with crumpled concrete and crushed cars as a backdrop, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced that $50 million was being made available immediately to Minnesota to help with cleanup, recovery, design work and traffic rerouting in the wake of the bridge collapse.

The money, which was being given to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, was part of the $250 million authorized by Congress last week for bridge replacement. That total was in addition to the $5 million in initial emergency aid and $5 million in emergency cash for transit approved last week.

Peters spoke at a news conference Friday at the north end of the collapse site in Minneapolis. She was joined by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and members of the Minnesota congressional delegation, including Sen. Norm Coleman, Reps. John Kline, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, and National Transportation Safety Board chairman Mark Rosenker.

President Bush "made it very clear that this bridge will not get stuck in red tape, and I am here to deliver on that pledge," Peters said.

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