Skip to main content
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Remains of mother and child recovered from bridge collapse site

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Body identified as that of nursing student from Somalia
  • Victim's daughter was only child killed in disaster
  • Photo shows where construction equipment sat on bridge
  • Location of equipment may help investigators compute stresses
  • Next Article in U.S. »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- The bodies of a 22-month-old girl and her mother have been recovered from the rubble of the I-35W bridge collapse, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday.

The remains were found Thursday.

Hana Sahal was in a car with her mother, Sadiya Sahal, 22 -- a nursing student from Somalia -- when it plunged into the Mississippi River, said Omar Jamal, a spokesman for the family. Photo See photos of victims of the collapse »

Sadiya Sahal died of blunt-force and penetrating abdominal injuries. Hana, the only child believed to be a casualty of the disaster, died of blunt-force head injuries, according to the county medical examiner's Web site.

Authorities informed Sahal's family Thursday that the child had died, said Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center. The family was told Friday that Sadiya Sahal's body was identified.

Funerals for both are planned for Saturday, Jamal said Friday night. Sadiya Sahal was five months pregnant, he said.

Divers on Friday pulled more human remains from the river, but the Hennepin County sheriff's office did not specify whether the remains represented one body or more.

The discovery of another victim would mean at least nine people were killed when the bridge fell six stories into the Mississippi during the evening rush hour on August 1. The medical examiner's office still listed eight victims on its Web site, however, and said that as of Friday evening, all remains found had been identified. Other victims may still be trapped in the rubble. Video Watch 'traffic cam' video of the chaos moments after the bridge collapse »

Federal officials investigating the disaster said Friday an aerial photo made before the bridge collapsed shows where construction equipment was placed on the structure and could help investigators determine why the bridge fell.

"This gives us an outstanding depiction of what, in fact, was on the bridge as it relates to the loads that were provided by the construction company: the equipment, the positioning of the equipment, where the loads were. All of that data will be put into our ... computer model," Mark Rosenker, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Friday.

Part of the investigation is focusing on construction work on the bridge before it fell. Crews were using heavy equipment to resurface parts of the deck and make other repairs. The eight-lane bridge was down to two lanes to accommodate the work. See a diagram of the bridge's structure »

The I-35W bridge was classified as "structurally deficient" by state bridge inspectors for at least 17 years.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said Friday that Minnesota will receive an advance of $50 million in federal emergency relief for debris removal and other operations in preparation for reconstruction.


The money is an advance on the $250 million Congress authorized before its August recess began. Congress must pass legislation to appropriate the $250 million before it can be released, Peters said.

The state also received $5 million in emergency aid the morning after the disaster, and $5 million was secured by Minnesota's congressional delegation to set up alternative transportation options for motorists. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About U.S. National Transportation Safety Board

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print