Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Has 24 Jumped the Shark?

If the series hasn't already, the addition of Janeane Garofalo to the cast for the upcoming season may very well be the equivalent of Jack Bauer strapping on a pair of skis and grabbing the tow rope. Maybe Ms. Garofalo will surprise me, but can anything good come from Air America? I mean, really? The only thing one can hope for is that they find a more interesting way to bump off her character than they did for Samwise Gamgee, er, I mean Sean Astin.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Not the Cruise He Expected

Saint Paul of Fraters Libertas has posted an amazing first-person account of the bridge collapse by Sisyphus of the blog Nihilist in Golf Pants. Sisyphus (aka Jim) was on a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River just north of the I-35W bridge when the collapse occurred before his eyes. Unbelievable.

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A Little Good News

In my earlier post, Minneapolis Bridge Collapse #2, I expressed my concern for fellow bloggers Mondo and Muzzy. I have since been in contact with both of them. They were both thankfully uninvolved, although Muzzy did have to take the long way home from downtown Minneapolis. You can read his account at his blog, Blogizdat.


Video of Bridge Collapse

Liveleak.com has security camera footage of the I-35W bridge collapse...

HT: Drudge

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Coverage of the Coverage

There has been wall to wall local news coverage pretty much since the bridge collapsed yesterday at 6:05 PM. For the most part, the coverage I have seen has been very good, given the circumstances. There have been a few inevitable stupid comments by some of the reporters and anchors giving live, unrehearsed reports. However, I am inclined to give them a lot of latitude in this situation.

Having said that, in this post, Chad the Elder of Fraters Libertas gives the over-inflated ego of local TV anchor Don Shelby a skewering for his coverage of himself in reporting on the bridge collapse. To his credit, Shelby waited nearly 3-1/2 hours before bringing is left-leaning politics into his reporting. Nice, Don.

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For Those Wondering Why...

Pastor John Piper is the Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis which is only a short distance from the collapsed bridge. He shares his thoughts on this disaster at Desiring God Blog.

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Minneapolis Bridge Collapse #4

KSTP is reporting that the official fatality count has been lowered to 4, but that will certainly rise as they estimate 20-30 people unaccounted for. The estimate is based on the number and type of vehicles that they know were involved in the incident.

Rescuers are poised and waiting to get the go ahead to start looking for victims. I presume they are still concerned about the structural stability of the remnants of the bridge.

Governor Pawlenty was just interviewed and said it will take at least a year before the bridge might be replaced.

The Coast Guard has closed off the Mississippi River 5 miles on either side of the bridge according to KMSP, the local Fox affiliate.

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Minneapolis Bridge Collapse #3

For more local commentary, check out Powerline, SCSU Scholars, Captain Ed and Fraters Libertas. Hot Air also has coverage of this major story.

A map of the bridge location can be found here.

A map of the detour route is here.

UPDATE: It has been reported that Highway 280, which is part of the detour route, will be turned into a temporary freeway. I confirmed this on the MnDOT website. This means that the traffic lights on Highway 280 will be turned off while the highway is designated a freeway.

Metro Transit will increase the number of buses at its North Metro park-and-ride locations to help with the inevitable increase in congestion as a result of this disaster.

KSTP is now reporting that a train car, which was crushed under the collapsed bridge, is leaking some sort of noxious gas. Officials are not sure what it is but have called in HazMat experts to assess the danger.

They are also reporting that the US Coast Guard still has divers in the river. It's surprising, given the darkness and swirling currents, that they would take such a risk. However, if they are...God bless them!


Minneapolis Bridge Collapse #2

The rescue efforts have been officially called off. Recovery efforts will resume after daybreak. The official fatality total is at seven, but I suspect it will enter double digits shortly after work resumes in the morning.

I was completely unaware of the catastrophy until I received a call from my very concerned mother. I think she knew I'd be working late and wasn't overly concerned, but was concerned nonetheless. She informed me that my younger sister, who lives in Minneapolis, was also safe. I have yet to hear from my friends and fellow bloggers Mondo and Muzzy. I pray that they were not involved in this disaster.

I'm watching the local ABC affiliate, KSTP. They are reporting that officials are concerned that there are several vehicles in the river that they don't know about. There have also been reports that they are concerned that debris from the collapse might make its way downstream and damage other bridges. In addition, the remaining bridge structure is unstable and moving. They are concerned that more of the bridge could collapse. It seems as if all of the survivor reports mention that they credit their survival to the fact that they were wearing their seatbelts.

KSTP also has a very moving slide show of photos taken by victims and witnesses.

More on this major local, national and international story later.

Update: The number of injured is reported at over 60. That number may increase a bit, but I think we can only hope that that is the only statistic that will change.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis

A major disaster has taken place in Minneapolis a short time ago. I've been watching streaming coverage of it on FoxNews.com. The four-lane bridge that spans the Mississippi River was full of crawling rush-hour traffic when it collapsed. The bridge was also under repair at the time. All reports thus far indicate that terrorism is not suspected.