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Bridge stories: 5 years later, survivors revisit I-35W collapse

In the five years since the I-35W bridge fell into the Mississippi River, the span has been rebuilt, most of the lawsuits have been settled and a memorial has been constructed. But pain, grief and memories linger for survivors. Here are a few of the memorable stories from that day.
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It's been five years, but memories are still fresh. Many recall where they were the day they heard the news that the Interstate 35W bridge had fallen into the Mississippi River.

For the survivors, the memories are vivid, aches and pains are a daily reminder, and the grief lingers.

Here are some words and images that memorialize the events of Aug. 1, 2007:

The Pioneer Press shares five stories from five years later, including that of Gary Babineau, who helped dozens of students who scrambled to escape a school bus.

St. Paul poet Todd Boss crossed the Interstate 35W bridge without a thought 20 minutes before it collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007, the Star Tribune reports. He’s been thinking about it ever since. To honor the 13 killed and to mark the tragedy, Boss wrote 35 poems, called “Fragments for the 35W Bridge,” part of an installation at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.

WCCO has the story of Saiku Kanneh, one of the children on the precariously perched school bus, then 11 and now a high school student. He has struggled through therapy and nightmares.

Video from that day dramatically captured the tragedy:

Here's the MnDOT camera that was pointed at I-35 away from the bridge, but it then slowly, eerily pans over to the fallen span.

This is a view of the fall from an Army Corps of Engineers camera:

Fifteen who were there share their chilling stories:

WCCO's coverage just as the story broke:

CNN had special coverage the next morning:

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5 years after I-35W bridge collapse, bridge repair program halfway complete

Minnesota is on track to meet a 2018 deadline to repair or replace 136 bridges that have been identified as having the most serious deficiencies, as part of a 10-year, $2.5 billion program. State lawmakers created the program just a few months after the I-35W bridge plunged into the Mississippi River during the peak of evening rush hour on Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others.

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Andy Gannon had not been on the Interstate 35W bridge since the day it fell. After years of emotional healing and on the five-year anniversary of the collapse, he was determined to finish the journey he had started, the Star Tribune reports.

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A new exhibit opened Saturday at the Firefighters Hall and Museum in northeast Minneapolis to commemorate the efforts of rescue workers after the Interstate 35W bridge collapse on Aug. 1, 2007. Titled "81 Minutes: After the Bridge Collapse," the exhibit chronicles the training that happened ahead of the collapse and the collaboration between firefighters and residents after.

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The Interstate 35W bridge fell into the Mississippi River, killing 13 people and injuring 145, five years ago on Wednesday. A new structure now stands in its place, but the road to recovery is still not complete for everyone. Survivors of the rush-hour disaster tell the Star Tribune they have struggled to rebound physically and emotionally.