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Author Topic: Mothman  (Read 2512 times)
Christian Kielbasa
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Posts: 1197

« Reply #75 on: June 06, 2009, 12:25:36 am »

Silver Bridge Disaster In The Press

    In The Charleston Gazette
    December 16, 1967

    Pt. Pleasant Span Collapses, 70 Vehicles Plunge Into River
    5 Bodies Recovered, Giant Toll Feared

    By George Steele, Staff Writer

        POINT PLEASANT - The collapse of a towering suspension bridge over the Ohio River here Friday plunged an estimated 60 to 70 vehicles into the cold waters and sent an untold number of persons to their deaths.

        Hours later only five bodies had been recovered but astounded officials were certain the death toll would soar.

        Only five of the scores of motorists who were atop the 1,750-foot span when it crashed into the murky waters during rush hour traffic at 4:55 p.m. were able to extricate themselves from submerged vehicles and make their way to safety.

        On the Ohio side, about 250 feet of the loaded bridge crashed onto land. Four persons on this part of the bridge were killed, and eight injured were pulled out of the tangled steel.

        A flotilla of riverboats with high powered search lights were recruited into the rescue operations, along with small craft and a Civil Defense army duck.

        Most of the rescue operations, in fact, were taking place at Kanauga, Ohio. A barge with a crane tried once to pull a car from the clutches of the river near the Ohio bank, but it came up with only a front bumper and suspension assembly.

        Early rescue activity centered on the Ohio side because the vehicles smashed by the bridge wreckage there were more accessible than those obviously strewn along the bottom of the river.

        One tractor - trailer that plunged into the water apparently was empty because onlookers watched it slowly float down river.

        Most of the bridge's superstructure was hidden beneath the water. In midstream only the concrete piers remained as stark evidence of the total collapse of the structure.

        Witnesses said the bridge bent sharply to the north, spilling its contents into the river, then groaning, went down in slow-motion on top of the sinking vehicles, apparently crushing many of them against the river bottom.

        Ambulances and rescue units from towns and communities on both sides of the river sped to the scene. They came from as far away as Charleston.

        A man who said he was on the bridge's approach ramp when it collapsed, said traffic was moving slowly and the two-lane span seemed to be packed with cars.

        He said it was always full at that time of the evening. There was some talk among spectators similar to: "I wonder if Sam was on the bridge."

        Mason County Civil Defense Director John A. Wilson said it will probably be days before authorities learn how many persons perished in the startling accident.

        He said his wife was only two blocks from the structure and saw it fall. She was in her car waiting for traffic to move so she could cross into Ohio.

        Amateur photographers flocked to the scene, some waiting helplessly in the dark for some miracle to happen so they wouldn't need a flash.

        Firemen were shuttled back and forth across the river to confer during the early part of the evening.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 12:31:16 am by Christian Kielbasa » Report Spam   Logged
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