Greek Orthodox Woman Missing in Minnesota Bridge Collapse
- NEW YORK TIMES
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,
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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