Seattle's KIRO-TV got their hands on surveillance video capturing the very moment when a too-heavy truck starts crossing the I-5 bridge and the supports start to collapse. You can see the next truck start to cross the bridge as the whole thing is coming apart. It is a horrifying — if brief — clip. Watch the whole thing below:
(Update: if the video doesn't play, click through here to watch. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.)
The whole thing happens in an instant. The video is shorter than you expect it to be. The truck drives over the bridge and then, almost literally, poof! The bridge is gone.
We initially didn't know why the bridge stretching over the Skagit River in Washington collapsed Thursday evening. We have since learned that a Canadian truck driver carrying an oversized load of drilling equipment connected with the bridge's structure while crossing. One of the truck's front corners hit several overhead trusses. Officials still aren't sure that could have cause the whole bridge to collapse, though. The driver had a state permit to travel that route with the oversized load, and a local guide with him as he crossed, making the whole thing an even bigger mystery.
The bridge was well traveled but also very, very old. State officials are looking for a short-term fix with the hope one of the state's main paths to Canada isn't blocked for long. They're hoping they can find a pre-built structure to put in place while the estimated $15 million it will likely cost to fix is rounded up. As our Philip Bump explained, looking to the federal government for infrastructure money is easier said than done recently. This bridge has company.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.