Interstate 5 bridge collapses in Washington State; Cars plummet into river

WASHINGTON - An Interstate 5 bridge has collapsed over a river in Washington State, sending vehicles plummeting into the water.

ABC affiliates in Washington identify the bridge as being the one over the Skagit River.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes have fallen into the river, Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis said in a post on Twitter.

Photos show the collapsed bridge and what appear to be vehicles in the water.  A reporter for KXLY4 reported "several cars submerged."

A reporter for a local newspaper said the north end of the I-5 bridge collapsed.  She said the freeway was closed.

The Naval Air Station Whidbey Island was sending helicopter to search for possible victims down river.

The collapse was reported about 8 p.m. Denver time.

Map showing bridge location:

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Link to map:

The I-5 Skagit River Bridge is a through-truss bridge that was built in 1955, according to the website .

The Columbia newspaper in Vancouver, Wash . reported a 2010 inspection described the Skagit River Bridge as "functionally obsolete," according to a federal report.

The report concluded that its structural evaluation was "somewhat better than minimum adequacy to tolerate being left in place as is."

The Skagit River bridge was given a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100, the newspaper reported.

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