, LOS ANGELES, May 24 – A highway bridge over a river in the northwestern US state of Washington partially collapsed Thursday, sending cars and people plunging into the water below without causing any fatalities.
Three people were fished out but there were no reports of serious injuries or fatalities in the incident, which officials said appeared to have been caused by a high-sided truck hitting a bridge span.
Pictures showed a large mangled section of the bridge, which carries the Interstate 5 highway over the Skagit river north of Seattle, collapsed into the water, with traffic and crowds of people visible on the end nearest land.
The four-lane road bridge, built in 1955 according to reports, is some 60 miles north of Seattle. The I-5 freeway runs up the US West Coast, from the Mexican border all the way to Canada.
“The good news is, it appears there have been no fatalities,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee told reporters during a visit to the scene.
“There were three people who were rescued from the river” and taken to local hospitals, he said, adding “there were some injuries,” without providing further details.
Authorities called off the search and rescue operation later Thursday night.
“It appears as though there was only the three victims and there is nobody else in the water. We’ve discontinued our search,” Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt told reporters.