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Greek Orthodox Woman Missing in Minnesota Bridge Collapse

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  • MIGREEK@aol.com
    NEW YORK TIMES August 5, 2007 Victims Missing in Bridge Collapse Identified By _PAM BELLUCK_
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2007

      August 5, 2007

      Victims Missing in Bridge Collapse Identified
      By _PAM BELLUCK_

      MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 4 — The Minneapolis police on Saturday night released the
      names of eight people they said were missing in the collapse of the bridge
      over the Mississippi River.
      The police said the list was not necessarily exhaustive, but reflected the
      names of people whom investigators could pinpoint as having been on the bridge
      at the time of the disaster.
      Missing are four men, three women and a 20-month-old girl. Richard Chit, 21,
      and his mother, Vera Peck, were traveling together in one car.
      Sadiya Sahal, a 23-year-old Somali refugee, was driving with her toddler,
      Hana. Ms. Sahal, a nursing student, was five months pregnant.
      Gregory Jolstad, 45, was working on a construction crew on the bridge,
      getting ready to pour a new layer on the road. Peter Hausmann, 47, who worked for
      an information security consulting firm and had spent time as a missionary in
      Kenya, was on his way to pick up a friend. Scott Sathers, 29, was commuting
      home from his job at Capella University, an online college.
      And Christina Sacorafas, 45, was heading to St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox
      church, where she was about to teach a dance class.
      Divers and search crews have not found any bodies or human remains since
      Thursday. On Saturday, they were able to hoist from the river a badly crushed
      car, Sheriff Rich Stanek said. So far, he said, divers have checked out nine
      cars in the river, and they have been able to account for the people who were
      driving eight of those cars, some of whom survived the accident. They have not
      been able to match the car removed from the river Saturday with its driver,
      he said.
      Also on Saturday, President Bush surveyed the pancaked concrete, contorted
      steel and hulks of half-sunken cars on a visit to the bridge.
      Expressing condolences to the families of the victims and “prayers to those
      who wonder about whether they’ll ever see a loved one again,” the president
      promised to make it a priority to rebuild the bridge “in a way that not only
      expedites the flow of traffic but in a way that can stand the test of time.”
      Mr. Bush took a 10-minute helicopter tour of the wreckage, where he could see
      the remains of a school bus, a truck and other vehicles. In a light rain,
      divers continued the painstaking search for the bodies of the eight people
      believed to be missing. Five people were confirmed dead in the accident and about
      100 were injured.
      “Our message to the Twin Cities is we want to get this bridge rebuilt as
      quick as possible,” the president said. “We understand this is a main artery of
      life here, that people count on this bridge, this highway system, to get to
      The federal government has already pledged $5 million to help remove debris
      and to reroute traffic around the collapsed bridge. And the House has approved
      $250 million to help rebuild the bridge.
      Mary E. Peters, the secretary of transportation, traveled with the president
      on Saturday and said that she had asked the inspector general of her
      department to join in the investigation of the _bridge collapse_
      s/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) . The _National Transportation Safety
      (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_transportation_safety_board/index.html?inline=nyt-org) is already
      involved in the search for answers.

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