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May 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM
A travel trailer that fell into the Skagit River when the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed Thursday has been removed from the river — the first major retrieval as work got underway Sunday night removing the mass of tangled steel and debris.
Barges transporting cranes and excavators — which have mounted hydraulic shears to cut damaged beams, steel and concrete — began arriving at the collapsed bridge Sunday evening. The goal is to retrieve and remove debris so the NTSB can complete its investigation and so work on the temporary span to replace the collapsed bridge can begin as soon as possible.
By Monday morning, crews had removed the little camper trailer. That trailer had been towed by a pickup being driven by Dan and Sally Sligh of Oak Harbor, both of whom survived with minor injuries in their plunge into the river.
A third driver, Bryce Kenning of Mount Vernon, who had been driving an orange compact SUV, also survived the plunge.
Crews on Monday morning were working to get the pickup and SUV out of the water onto a containment area on the banks of the river.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the collapse, is interested in examining the SUV and pickup. There are also some critical pieces of the beams that the NTSB wants to look at, said Dave
Chesson, a spokesman with the state transportation department.
“We’ll be removing those pieces, if we can, first, and bringing them onto the shore to be examined,” Chesson said.
Once that’s done and the NTSB is satisfied, then the rest of the debris can be cleared out, he said.
The state transportation department is also taking the opportunity to do a thorough examination of the bridge, including any collapse-related damage but also any other repairs that might be needed such as potholes.
“This is our opportunity to go over the bridge with a fine tooth comb while there’s no traffic on it,” Chesson said.
December 6, 2012 at 8:29 PM
Four people fell when an escalator inside Bellevue Square shopping center malfunctioned tonight, according to the Bellevue Fire Department.
A 30-year-old man, a woman and two 3-year-olds were taken to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue after the 7:21 p.m. malfunction at Macy’s. The man sustained minor injuries while the three others were taken as a precaution, said Lt. Troy Donlin. He did not know how many people were on the escalator when it failed.
A store manager declined to comment, but an employee said that she heard screaming and saw the escalator coming apart.
An employee at Sanrio said it was the escalator on the street level of Macy’s and that the steps of the escalator were mangled.
“Some steps are not where they belong,” Donlin said, according to an Associated Press report.
A mechanical failure led to the accident, not a structural collapse, Donlin said. He was told by a mall manager that the escalator is regularly checked by maintenance company Schindler, and that they and a state inspector would investigate the cause of the malfunction as soon as possible.
A state inspector from the Department of Labor & Industries also checks the escalator monthly, according to a release from Kemper Development Company, which owns Bellevue Square.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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