Friday, August 3, 2007

Minneapolis bridge disaster touches Sun

From the wreckage of the I-35W bridge collapse on Wednesday have come stories of those in and around Minneapolis frantically calling friends and families to make sure of one thing: We’re they on the bridge?

Lindsay Whalen was no different.

A Hutchinson, Minn. native, Whalen said she has several friends and family around the Minnesota metropolis, including a sister who goes to the University of Minnesota – her alma mater – and her aunt, who works in the downtown area. She called all of them in the hours after the collapse during rush hour on Wednesday afternoon, and luckily no one she knows was among those involved in the disaster, which, according to a report on Friday afternoon, has claimed five lives already.

She said her aunt, however, had passed over the bridge some five minutes before a section of the 40-year-old bridge crumpled into the Mississippi River more than 60 feet below.

Whalen, speaking after practice Friday at Stonington High School, recalled seeing the bridge every day her senior year of college from her off-campus apartment, no more than a five-minute walk from the disaster.

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