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Recovery Efforts Continue After Bridge Collapse

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Recovery efforts in Minneapolis today are focusing on accounting for the missing from yesterday's bridge collapse, while authorities are inspecting other bridges across the state to ensure their safety.

Divers have been checking cars trapped beneath the wreckage in the Mississippi River. They are trying to get a count of the victims. Police say as many as 30 people are missing, while the official death count is four.

Anxious relatives are gathered in a Minneapolis hotel ballroom, waiting for word on whether their loved ones are among those killed. One man whose wife was last heard from when she left work in downtown Minneapolis says he's hoping "there is a Jane Doe in a hospital somewhere that's her."

Another woman says she's "never wanted to see her brother so much" in her life. She hasn't heard from him or his girlfriend since Tuesday.

Hospital officials say some 79 people were hurt. A doctor at the Hennepin County Medical Center describes a steady stream of patients, some coming in unconscious and others with serious head and back injuries.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has ordered an immediate inspection of all bridges in the state with similar designs. He says a federal review of interstate bridges last year provided no indication the Minneapolis bridge was dangerous.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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