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Federal Gov. Divers Added to Search for Victims of Minnesota Bridge Disaster


Divers from the U.S. Navy and Federal Bureau of Investigation are helping search for more victims from last week's highway bridge collapse in the northern U.S. state of Minnesota.

Local divers have been searching the water for days. But Minnesota authorities needed additional resources to continue searching for the eight people who were on the bridge and are still missing.

Authorities say the bridge collapse killed at least five people and injured 100 others.

On Sunday, 1,000 people attended an interfaith service in Minneapolis to mourn the victims.

Traffic lanes on the 40-year-old steel-and-concrete bridge were crowded with evening rush-hour commuters when a lengthy central portion of the span fell without warning Wednesday into the Mississippi River 20 meters below.

President Bush visited the city Saturday. He pledged the federal government's full support in rebuilding the bridge, a key transportation route through Minnesota's "Twin Cities" of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Authorities in Minnesota had been warned as early as 1990 that the bridge was "structurally deficient," and in need of major repair or even replacement. Federal inspectors gave the same forecast in 2005, but state engineers say the span was not slated for replacement until 2020.

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