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I-5 Bridge Collapses Near Seattle, Throwing Cars, People into Water

( [email protected] ) May 23, 2013 10:00 AM EDT
The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed around 7 p.m. on Thursday, sending cars and people into the water, the state patrol reported.
The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed on Thursday evening, sending cars and people into the water

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state collapsed around 7 p.m. on Thursday, sending cars and people into the water, the state patrol reported.

According to the Trooper Mark Francis, public information officer for the Washington State Patrol, both north and southbound lanes of the interstate were affected.

No cause was known at this time, he said, and it was unknown how many vehicles were in the water or if there were deaths or injuries.

Three people have been rescued from the water, according to the Skagit County Sheriff's Office. Other unconfirmed reports said some people were trapped in the water by debris.

The 1,111-ft. Skagit River Bridge is located between Burlington and Mt. Vernon, about 60 miles north of Seattle. Built in 1955, BridgeHunter.com notes that the four-lane structure sees an average daily traffic of about 71,000.

KOMO-TV aired video from a helicopter showing the collapsed bridge with rescuers working from shore and a motorboat to search for people.

A truck and automobile could be seen in the water on the collapsed bridge section.

The bridge is the main route for traffic between the Seattle metro area and Vancouver, Canada.