Thursday, August 02, 2007
Thinking about the families...
I'm on a flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, about to take off. There was good news this morning -- the death toll was lowered to four. Last night, authorities had been saying there were seven confirmed fatalities. Many remain missing right now. Let's hope they can be accounted for.

The atmosphere on board the flight is strange. Or perhaps I'm just imagining it. I always feel odd when traveling to a place where something terrible has happened. I keep thinking of all those families waiting for word about their loved ones. It must have been an agonizing night for them, and there are many difficult hours ahead.

-- By Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 11:33 AM ET
  72 Comments
My heart aches for what the families are going through and for the people who lived through the experience. Never in a million years did I think that could happen out of the blue. AN earthquake or a crash maybe, but to just happen ??? It boggles the mind.
Anderson please take the thoughts of all of us with you and pass on to all you encounter that we are all praying for them and supporting them in our own ways. I can not stop thinking about it.....
Posted By Donna Salem MA : 11:27 AM ET
Anderson:
I could never do what you do. Journalists run toward what other people run from and that's so admirable to me because I think of myself as a somewhat weak person. I watched the coverage til I couldn't keep my eyes open last night. And I'm sorry to say that I missed you on Leno because I was watching the coverage on this story on different networks as well as CNN. I can't stop thinking about what it must have been like on that bridge the moment it collapsed. And the children, they must have been terrifed beyond description. Little else gets to me more than a frightened child. I haven't stopped thinking about this tragedy since last night.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 11:36 AM ET
Anderson, hopefully you have a smooth flight as you are about to have a very hard rest of the day.

Your right in that some good news was given this morning. How relived those family members might be but the families still awaiting word must be going through agony.

Thank you for going to the scene to share the stories. You did an awesome job last night and I am sure the coverage from both the 360 team and all the other CNN shows will continue to be top notch. Hopefully lessons will be learned, it is the only thing you can take from a horrible situation

Please also update us on Randi's family members.....hopefully she has recieved good news.
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 11:37 AM ET
Anderson, anyone from 360,

can you guys give us an update on Randi's family? Was she able to get intouch with her brother-in-law (i believe) who was missing?!
Posted By Marcy B., Mobile, AL : 11:45 AM ET
Hi Anderson, thanks for all your reporting on this last night. I hope you get to talk to the authorities over there and get more information tonight. This can't happen again. Can you imagine the Golden Gate bridge or any structure like that collapsing? I have more respect for engineers now. Our safety depends on them. I prayed for all the families affected. See you tonight.

Lilibeth
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 11:49 AM ET
My thoughts and prayers or with these famlies, I just don,t understand how somrthing like this just falls. Makes you think. Will be waiting for the show tonight.

Sandy Belvin Richmond,VA
Posted By Anonymous : 12:04 PM ET
I wish you the best of luck and hope your spirits stay up while working this report. It's very sad for the families and friends, but it's also just as hard and maybe a bit more for the reporters. You get the first hand footage and have to decide what to show the public.

Good luck AC and your crew, and we'll see you tonight.
Posted By keilani, maui, HI : 12:06 PM ET
Be careful Anderson... Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Minneapolis.
Posted By Meagan Alpharetta GA : 12:12 PM ET
I wanted to comment on this horrible disaster in Minneapolis. One thing keeps going through my mind though. The Response has been AMAZING and the heartfelt sympathies of the country have been outpouring. CNN Reporting has been great, it truly pulls the heart strings to see the families of the missing families talk abut their loved ones. But I still keep thinking about New Orleans, and the MAJOR Difference in reaction to that tragedy versus this tragedy. Prez. Bush has reacted instantly to this, whereas it took days for Katrina. FEMA is on and all over the scene, whereas during Katrina was nowhere to be found and STILL is nowhere to be found! The MAIN thing I have to say about this as people compare this to other tragedies in the past (I've heard people say 911 Over & Over & Over again, how this reminds them of how they felt during 911!) I have Two words for you: "FEMA Trailers." The people in New Orleans have been left without their city or any hope of, Meanwhile Prez. Bush & the country are all ready Talking about helping as much as he & we can and Bush is ALL OVER This situation. Please What is the meaning of the difference for his reaction time compared to this and Katrina & overall reaction et cetera… ?
Posted By Nathaniel : 12:14 PM ET
I still can't believe it and it just gives me shivers thinking what it would be like to be on the bridge and then have it collapse from underneath you. I just hate being stuck in traffic and feeling the bridge sway a bit while you are sitting there. I feel for the Minn/St. Paul community and especially the families with loved ones missing or hurt or taken by this tragic event. Living in St. Louis, you cross the Mississippi all the time and don't think much of it... maybe not anymore...
Posted By Mary H. St. Louis, MO : 12:17 PM ET
I hope that rather than sensationalize this one event in Minneapolis, CNN looks into deeper problems, like what political shenanigans led to the infrastructure neglect, what similar problems exist around the country, and why.

Meanwhile, 652 people have died from flooding in China in part due to aging or bad infrastructure. Sorry, but a little perspective.
Posted By Margot, Washington DC : 12:18 PM ET
It's the unknown factors that always make a horrible situation worse. Not knowing if your loved one is going to return is bad but having to wait over night to get any news is 10 times worse. I was just listening to CNN in the car and someone from MN said they can't believe the outpouring of support that has come not only from their state but from around the country, but that's what what we American's do.

I bet the feeling on the plane was strange, people never know what to say or do when something like this happens. But you shouldn't feel weird because this is your positive contribution to this tragedy. You are showing support for the people involved, whether it is in the capacity of being a reporter or an American. Please let everyone on the scene that we 360 viewers are behind them 100%
Posted By Marcia, Warren Mi : 12:19 PM ET
I pray for those families that have suffered from the loss of love ones and pray for those who are awaiting word. Bless those who help get their story...
Posted By Joanna Parker ,DE : 12:22 PM ET
My breathing breaks in short stops just by the thought of the families, the wainting to hear from love ones and the fear that comes with it.
I'm sure not all your traveling is to disaster zones but it has to be hard to do it.
Thanks for bring honest news to the light :)
Gyggy
Posted By Anonymous : 12:32 PM ET
My thoughts all last evening and this morning are with the people and families who were just going about their normal daily routine and to be struck with such a shocking experience. Anderson, after seeing you during the hurricane coverage in the South, I know you will bring comfort and support to those going through this and will share that we indeed will continue to keep them in our thoughts.
Posted By Carla, Cleveland, Ohio : 12:41 PM ET
My heart goes out to all the families who have lost love ones and those who are still waiting on word about their love ones. God Bless each and every family and pray for strength during this time.
Posted By Denise Williams : 12:44 PM ET
Anderson:
I am glad you and your crew do feel something. It's not just another story to be covered. It is about a community and human tragedy.

Our hearts and prayers are with the citizens of Minneapolis and St Paul.
Posted By Sharon, Indianapolis, IN : 12:44 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

First I would like to say thank you for coming to Minneapolis to work on this story in person. I’m just sorry that your trip here is under these sad circumstances. We Twin Citians are in a state of disbelief today. Just at my work place alone this morning, we had many people talking and checking with one another learning about life changing experiences from family/friends who had just been across the I-35W bridge yesterday, moments before it collapsed. We are hearing that it may take up to two years to replace this very important piece of roadway that runs through the heart of the Twin Cities. This loss will be felt for days, months and years in this community. For the families involved in this tragedy, I would like to offer my deepest sympathy.

Donna, Minneapolis, MN
Posted By Anonymous : 12:46 PM ET
Ever since parts of a freeway collapsed during the last big earthquake here, I've been very nervous driving through underpasses. I can only imagine the terror those people felt in Minneapolis. But I do remember that someone was found alive on a pancaked freeway days after it collapsed during an earthquake in San Francisco, so there is still hope for those missing.

The CNN coverage last night was excellent, though I couldn't sleep after watching it. I'm sure you will find the right words to say to the families of the victims and I thank you for going there yourself. You can certainly tell them that all of America is praying for them.
Posted By Barbara, Culver City, CA : 12:46 PM ET
When you see a disaster of that magnitude you can't imagine it, it's just too much to process. I couldn't watch much of your coverage last night, it's just a little too close to home. My sister was on the San Francisco Bay Bridge when the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred, and my dad was at the World Series game at Candlestick Park. Me, I was in college about 5 miles from the epicenter in Santa Cruz, CA and our house fell down on top of us.

I'm glad to be a spectator in this disaster, but I know exactly how all the vitctim's families and friends feel. It's the not knowing that makes every day impossible to get thru. I hope they can find some comfort once more information starts flowing in.
Posted By Sartia Rodriguez, San Francisco, CA : 12:52 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
The unknown is the most terrible of feelings. I waited two weeks for a family member to be retrieved after a drowning. It was just horrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved. I hope that the death toll will be lower than what the pictures presented. Words are sometimes, very little comfort. But I hope the people of Minneapolis know that the rest of the country are all with them today. Take Care
Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Anonymous : 12:53 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

I was actually thinking about you this morning, wondering if you'd be flying to Minneapolis today. I admire your determination to be at the scene and hear and tell these stories. I know it's not easy and your compassion for the people you have the privilege to meet is truly amazing.

Like you, I've been thinking a great deal about the families still awaiting word on their loved ones, the past 18 hours must have been, to use your word, agony. My thoughts however, have also been with the victims who were/are trapped in that bridge and in the water. I can't get those images out of my head. My heart goes out to everyone there.

Please know that you carry our thoughts and prayers with you to all those affected by this horrible event.
Posted By Jennifer, Washington DC : 1:06 PM ET
My heart goes out to those in Minnesota because I was born there and it's HOME. My heart also goes out to the forgotten people of New Orleans because my daughter lived there for three months prior to the hurricane and it was her HOME. I can totally appreciate Nathaniel's comment (posted at 12:14) because New Orleans has been our forgotten disaster.

How do we measure the needs of victims after a disaster? By television rankings or true need?

I saw on a Minneapolis news website today that they are still collecting donations for the Gulf victims while many parts of the country have forgotten and moved on. Nathaniel, we hear you and understand your frustration. Perhaps posting these comments will bring some of the attention back to New Orleans as it continues to be a victim of misunderstanding. I personally feel we should take care of all of our victims at home rather than spending millions overseas.

In the meantime, our hearts go out to Minneapolis because of their immediate need and our prayers are with their families. What an amazing example you are of professionalism and caring.
Posted By Jan - Pennsylvania : 1:11 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I work for a company of structural engineers--bridge designers who are devastated by the news from Minneapolis. Safety must come first. My heart goes out to the families of those lost and to those who were injured. I know your quote reads, "Be honest about what you see, get out of the way and let the story reveal itself," but Anderson, please don't get out of the way--your coverage of tragic events like this one is so touching that strangely, it's comforting to see your familiar face when bad things happen (as well as laugh with you in lighter moments)--it's like we've been through a lot together. Thank you, Anderson, for everything. Sincerely, Helene
Posted By Helene Rochester, NY : 1:11 PM ET
I can not imagine how the good people of Minneapolis are suffering today. I used to live in Rochester for a couple of years, and when I heard the news, I truly felt a tug at my heartstrings. There are such good people out there in Minnesota, and I always considered it my second home. I think I can speak for most everyone when I say that my heart and prayers go out to everyone there. I just hope that nobody I know was involved in this tragedy.
Posted By Jill Granger, Pittsburgh PA : 1:18 PM ET
How quickly lives can change. In an instant someone we love can be taken, no thought but to get home safely after a hard, grueling day.

So often we think of the smile, the kind word, the things left undone. We thought there would be another chance.

Tell those you love how you feel, do all those things you've always meant to do. While there is still time.

I hope those of you who are hurting so much now will be healed soon and remember only the good times.

God Bless,

Maggie
Posted By Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 1:25 PM ET
I wanted to comment on the posting left by Nathaniel at 10:14PM today who is comparing this tragedy to Katrina. Can we leave politics out of something for once in this country? Must there always be a reference to politics? Have you possibly considered that the president and FEMA have learned from their mistakes of the past and are determined to do right in the future? Please, pray for the families and people impacted by this and leave your political digs and shallow thoughts to yourself.
Posted By Ted G Atlanta,GA : 1:28 PM ET
Hi Anderson, safe flight today. Sad thing is, when all is said and done, this will be another situation of politics, money and finger pointing. I heard someone on the news say that this should not happen to a bridge in the United States. BINGO! Neither should have the World Trade Center attack, or the horrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Warning signs on all three of those accounts. Sad the value of a human life is held in such disregard.

My prayers go out to you for having to see yet another tragedy. So many events you have covered over the last couple of years I'm sure have left you with a heavy heart and many questions of faith.

As well as my prayers go out to the many families that will be effected by this tragedy in the days to come. God bless and be strong.
Posted By Suzanne, Tampa, FL : 1:44 PM ET
It's good that you're there. Nothing will ease the pain of those who lost their loved ones and for those who experienced the nightmare but they deserve answers, on a tragedy that could be avoided?
How do you do it? How is it that you can still keep yourself so open, thoughtful, compassionate, when most would opt to detach? You must have lots of love in your heart.
Posted By lpfoong, Penang, Malaysia : 1:47 PM ET
As I watch CNN’s coverage of the bridge collapse I must admit that I am taken aback by some of the reporters on this story. They seem surprised somehow that people would stop what they are doing to help out in this terrible time of need.

Must I remind everyone that there are good people everywhere and good things that go on everyday? Perhaps we need to report more good things in our news so that when we come together for tragedies like this, our news agencies and reporters are not so surprised by the courage and strength of every individual involved.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.
Posted By Frances Green NY NY : 1:47 PM ET
Keeping victims and families in my thoughts and prayers

Jesse(PA)
Posted By Anonymous : 1:53 PM ET
The Minneapolis bridge accident was indeed a terrible disaster. Unfortunately I feel that we are just beginning to see disasters of this sort due to the failing infastructure of our country. I told my wife we could chalk this up as another casualty of the war. Every state is suffering from a lack of federal funds to help keep up with our failing infastructure. I am from North Carolina and have never seen our roads and bridges in the shape they are in now. A country, no matter how wealthy, can continue to spend billions of our money on a war and not suffer from budget cuts that affect our daily lives. It is sad that the money that we as americans pay in taxes to keep our country strong are being utilized to kill instead of save lives. When when when will our President and Vice President realize that we cannot continue to spend this hard earned money on something that will never change. It is time to invest in our country. Bin Laden made the statement that he would bring us to our knees by breaking us financially. This accident is one of the signs that his plan is working. Wake Up America, we only have so much money and the war is not the way to spend it.
Posted By Ben Gregory, Salisbury, North Carolina : 1:54 PM ET
Hi Anderson -

Sad, sad story. I live in Canada and we receive our CBS feed from Minneapolis. I tuned in just after it happened and it was painful to watch the reactions of the local newspeople and the reporters at the scene. I'm sure it won't be any easier for you. My thoughts are with all of those who wait for word about their loved ones, and with you also. Take care.

Cari, Regina, SK, Canada
Posted By Anonymous : 2:07 PM ET
People often say that the Minneapolis/St.Paul area is like one big "small town." When something out of the ordinary happens around here, you wonder whether you know someone who was affected, or that you might know someone who knows someone. It happens all the time and I think that this sense leads to a spirit of community, whether it is a celebration of a winning sports team or, as in the case of yesterday's bridge collapse, a terrible tragedy at well-known bridge crossing. It was this sense that came over me last night when I got home from work and watched in utter disbelief the news coverage of the collapse of the 35W bridge. The local television coverage did an excellent job keeping everyone informed of what happened, but seeing on-screen this oh-so-familiar landmark in ruin had to have taken every Minnesotans breath away. A quick call to all my family members confirmed their safety and all I could do was hope that other friends and acquaintances were safe as well.

I got up this morning to the radio coverage of the latest developments. Feeling somewhat relieved that the fatality rate wasn't greater (and it easily could have if not for lane closures at the time) I headed to my job at our office located north of downtown Minneapolis. I was met at the door by two co-workers with the news that one our own never made it home last night. Last contact with him was as when he left the office to go pick up a friend on the other side of town. Now his family is awaiting word of his whereabouts along with many others. "Good News" that only 4 are confirmed dead pales when 30 are still unaccounted for, including my friend.

Many people know all too well what it is like to lose a loved one suddenly -- car accidents, heart attacks, and such. Somehow this is different. The thought of this wonderful human being taken from his wife and family in this tragedy is even more heartbreaking. Perhaps because it seems like someone should have know the dangers; someone should have taken action to prevent it. And while it may be months before any of this is known, in the meantime I grieve the loss of my friend and do what I can to help his family in the days ahead. Please keep in your hearts and prayers all those who are still missing.
Posted By Deb, Stillwater, MN : 2:30 PM ET
Anderson,

Here you go again. Tonight's show will not be the one that was planned when your week in LA was scheduled. How awful for the people of Minneapolis. We all go over bridges everyday older than the one that collapsed. I hope this calls attention to our aging infrastructure. While we spend billions fighting an immoral war and rebuilding bridges elsewhere that get blown up again we are falling apart here at home. Who should go immediately and hold some hands is President Bush. Act like he cares for a change. Oh is he on vacation at the ranch? I am on vacation myself at Lake Tahoe and am not up to snuff on the news like I usually am. If he is on vacation he will go after the last BBQ and brush clearing.

Take care and I know your presence will help.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 2:43 PM ET
To Margot,

Never minimalize someone else's tragedy. I work in Minneapolis every day. Live nearby. I take that bridge often. And everything in my world stopped last night when I heard the news. I would imagine like every other person in the Twin Cities.

You're not here. You don't know the horror. Are there always bigger tragedies out there? Yes. But they aren't always as personal.

The next time something tragic happens to Washington D.C., you'd better be the last person to complain about it. In fact, you'd better not complain about anything ever again.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:00 PM ET
My thoughts and prayers goes out to the people in Minnesota.
You don't never know from one day to the next here one day and next day you gone. and knowing that our lives is precious to us and enjoy what you have of it.
People takes life for granted and don't realize that it could happen to them. Something like this wakes me up and makes me realize that how lucky we are and how blessed that we are to have another day to live.
I'm glad that the children got off the bus safely. Jeremy Hernandez was like a guarding angel for the 50 kids that were on the bus he was the hero that got the kids of the bus safely. Thank God for answering a lot of prayers. My prayer are with the people in this tragedy and the people that are helping with this tragedy.

Thank you Anderson, for covering this story for us I know it has to be hard on you to do this but I appreciative of what all you do my heart goes out to you.


Jennifer - From Anderson, South Carolina.
Posted By bluediamond (Jennifer) : 3:09 PM ET
This is such a shock to me and still hasn't fully sunk in just yet. I grew up in the Twin Cities and lived there my whole life until joining the Army in 2003. I've been over that bridge to many times to count and I'm trying to picture in my head the aftermath of this tragedy and I just can't comprehend. Anyone from the TC knows how many people use that bridge on a daily basis it has to be well over 100,000. It's so sad to think about innocent people just doing their daily rutines to get dealt such a sad fate. My heart and prayers and tears go to the family's of the lost civilians. I thank god that all of my huge family is accounted for.
Posted By Chris, Columbia South Carolina : 3:22 PM ET
I came back late last night after a week-long mission trip in rural Honduras, checked out the news to see what I'd missed (all CNN editions are not created equally), and saw the bridge collapse story. I am so saddened for those involved in this tragedy. I understand what it is to wait, praying for the best while preparing for the worst. For three days my family didn't know whether my cousin was alive or dead (his last phone contact was to his aunt while on his roof in St. Bernard as the water was rising). He made it. The what if's were so nauseating. I don't remember sleeping much. And every phone ring was so loaded. My prayers are with all impacted by this. I hope you all find a sense of peace in the midst of this catastrophe.
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 3:25 PM ET
What a mess.
Posted By Karen, Boston, MA : 3:37 PM ET
Anderson--

I just wanted to express my thanks to the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people involved in the rescue and recovery efforts in this unbelievable tragedy. Minneapolis/St. Paul should be commended for being as prepared as it was for this tragedy. If hindsight teaches us anything, it's that these kinds of unthinkable accidents can happen anywhere at any time and the more we learn from what has happened and what could happen, the better prepared we can be for the next time this kind of unimaginable experience becomes a reality.

Stay safe and thanks for being there when we can't be.

Carolyn
Posted By Carolyn, Washington, DC : 3:57 PM ET
I am a resident of Minnesota, but four hours away from the cities. I have been on the bridge many times to get to the MetroDome for Twins games. That is the route I take most often because it's the main route I take to get to the cites.

I am touched that the US is acting as such, with sympathy and news coverage. The cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding areas are doing a phenomenal job of the now, sadly, recovery mission. They acted fast, great for them. But I cannot help but be saddened by the help from DC. It's great that FEMA is already here in MN, and that the President has already sent some people here. What's sad is that help from FEMA and other Government places did not reach to the Katrina victims as fast. I cannot help but think that Mr. Bush's statement released today will not happen. My hopes of his help has not comforted me, even my hopes of him has gone very slim since the war in Iraq, Katrina victims. It wont happen, if it does I cannot help but think why is he helping us here more than New Orleans area. The federal help is great, but the "Minnesota-Nice" still lingers. People from four hours away are going there to help. He said something like, "We will have government sources available to Minnesota to help with reconstructing the bridge as soon as possible."

My prayers and sympathy are extended to the victims and their family and friends.

Emily
-Moorhead, MN
Posted By Emily : 4:00 PM ET
Anderson,

I am a journalist from Minnesota currently on assignment in Edinburgh, Scotland. I awoke this morning to the news of the bridge collapse, and realized it occurred just as I was going to sleep last night.

I grew up north of the Twin Cities and that bridge was the only way I've taken into Minneapolis and the South Suburbs. Trying to come to terms that it is gone has not been easy.

As soon as I heard the news I thought, "Where's Anderson?" CNN and the NY Times have been my only link to news about America, thank you for your coverage, images, and video feed. Thank you also for coming to our state to tell the story in person.

The Mississippi River isn't the only thing that runs through Minneapolis, please capture our spirit of care that runs from us to our neighbors. It is at times like this that the true meaning of "Minnesota Nice" comes flowing forward.

Sincerely,
m.k. smith
edinburgh, scotland
Posted By Meagan : 4:25 PM ET
My ex-husband's brother is a firefighter and was a first responder on-scene last night. I can't imagine what his night was like. Thanks to all of you...reporters, firefighters, medics, officers, physicians and nurses...who go where none of us wants to.
Posted By Anonymous : 4:59 PM ET
I too am originally from the SF Bay area. We were also attending the World Series game. To this day, I am frightened any time I am stuck in traffic under a freeway bridge. God Bless those who have lost loved ones and those are still waiting for news. The waiting is the worst in these situations.
Posted By Anonymous : 5:09 PM ET
I just moved from Minneapolis to Nashville a month ago. It is so hard to see my home in so much pain. My friends and family are in shock and I can't be there with them. Thank you for helping me be a bit closer.
Posted By Carissa : 5:15 PM ET
Anderson,

I was alerted by my co-worker about the bridge collapse about 15 minutes after it happened. As soon as I saw it, fear gripped my stomach because not only had I been over that bridge many times before, but my brother lives a mile from the site, and would have been on his way home from work. I tried frantically to reach him or my sister in law for about 40 minutes before I finally reached him, and found out that he was ok, and so was she.
Even here in Duluth, phone lines were tied up, and we were unable to get through. I remained glued to the television, flipping stations for more news, and of course, watching you.
I hope everyone reaches out to their loved ones, and lets them know how much they love them. You just never know when tragedy may strike.
Posted By Samantha in Duluth, MN : 5:19 PM ET
What's sad is that only a political candidate who says "we're going to build new things" appeals to voters. A candidate who says "we're going to put all our money into reinforcing old bridges" won't get elected. It's just not something people think about. And it's not something people think we need. Sad but true.
Posted By Kathy , Chicago, Ill. : 5:21 PM ET
We Minnesotans are experiencing this tragedy through the media coverage (along w/the rest of the world)... I work 15 min. from downtown, but undertand that all public viewing points of the bridge have been closed. I have read a lot of comments from locals stating "this is our Ground Zero", and I somewhat agree... It is just so unbelievable because I have crossed that bridge so many times, and feel like I need to see if for myself. For now, the only possible way is through the media coverage. I am so glad Anderson is on the way to cover this tragedy... like he did w/Katrina, I know it will be with dignity and respect.
Posted By Brenda Nelson-Schurb, Minneapolis MN : 5:36 PM ET
Over the last 24 hours I've heard nothing but people talking about why the bridge collapsed; newly ordained structural engineers I would assume. We're all experts now.
A local writer for the "big" paper has already begun spinning that only an elephant could have brought the bridge down, never a donkey.
Quit the retoric. National press go home. You can report just fine from your desk. A bridge collapsed and people have died. Being on the scene, fighting to get a better perspective than colleagues, getting down by the wreckage...you're offering nothing. Unless you're going to get in there and bring my co-worker out or any of the other victims, go home. Be self-serving somewhere else.
Posted By Anonymous : 5:46 PM ET
Margot... You are heartless, every tradgedy, is equal to those that have to live it. I am not in China, or anywhere else... I am in Minnesota, and right now this is a very real tradgedy to all Minnesotans. How can you compare the pain that families are suffering in this time of loss to anyone elses suffering? It is real and right now it is painful you idiot! Hmmm funny how we get more compassion from politicians then we do from an idiot in DC!
Posted By Anonymous : 5:47 PM ET
Margot,

Fellow Minnesotans and our friends and family who don't live here need to be updated on what's going on.

Maybe a bridge will fall on you someday and you'll understand that.
Posted By Anonymous : 6:00 PM ET
Anderson:

We should all learn not to take anything for granted; and the little things that may bother us during the day are minor. These people on the bridge were just doing an ordinary task of the day --- crossing a bridge. In a blink of an eye your whole life can change.

My prayers and thoughts go out to the families of Minneapolis.
Posted By Vicki, Long Island : 6:30 PM ET
Anderson, I give you so much credit for the commitment and bravery you have as a journalist. I hope that there will be more great news to report tonight when you cover in Minneapolis tonight. My best wishes to the families and friends during this difficult time.
Posted By Jess, Somers, NY : 6:49 PM ET
Hey Anderson - my thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this tragedy as well as their family and friends. I agree that last night must have been a terrible ordeal for all involved; waiting to hear about your loved ones must have made the night seem endless. I kept thinking about the fact that the searching had to stop. The pain of being buried in that rubble all night is unimaginable.

I hope all the children on that bus are okay and that their parents stay extra close and give them a few extra long hugs. I think they will need them.

Please give Randi our best wishes and let her know we are praying for her family.

It just shows you never know in life what's waiting for you around the corner. I have a good friend who drives over that bridge and I'm glad she wasn't there, but feel deeply for those who were.

Sorry I missed you on the Leno show last night, it just didn't seem right to turn the channel when you were covering the bridge collapse.

Looking forward to 360 tonight and learning more.

Take care!
Posted By Christina, Windber, PA : 7:09 PM ET
Hey Anderson,
I've watched your show last night with a broken heart. My heart goes out to the families still waiting,some for a tiny glimpse of hope,others for a body.
One thing I kept asking myself yesterday,when will they start to chip away at the parts that collapsed,trapping cars.
When it happened near my house last october,they hurried to get all of the injuried away,and when they finally got to everyone and realised they couldn't get to the cars crushed under the structure,they began to cut it in big sections until they could get to the cars. It couldn't help saved the victims trapped,but it shortened the time of recovery.
I see the images,it's all mangled,I wouldn't know where to start,but,couldn't they do it too?
I know its too late for the victims,and the rescuers are...I don't have words for rescuers and the job they do in such circumstances that would be strong enough to express how amazing they are.
And,in time,I hope you will do a segment about the anxiety and even phobia that many people could develop due to this collapsed. We had lines opened here so people could express their thoughts,their fears. In time,it fades away,like everything,but the morning after,when I ended up stuck on the bridge next to the one collapsed,with heavier traffick,I had a mild panick attack,as many others did.
We slap ourselves in the back because we are living in such rich countries. Yeah,we can't even have infrastructures that are safe. What a shame.
Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 8:43 PM ET
Anderson --

First off: to anyone reading this who has been affected -- my thoughts and prayers are with you during this overwhelming time. Please know that so many people are thinking of all of you.

Anderson, thank you and your crew so much for coming to our state to cover the tragedy. As another blogger put it -- I just wish it could be under better circumstances.

I look forward to your reports tonight. Your crew always does such a good job in showing a different perspective and sticking up for the common men and women. It's just going to be surreal to see it happening on a road I used to travel so frequently.

A fan in Burnsville.

- Jess Bongaarts
Posted By jess bongaarts : 10:19 PM ET
As a resident of Minnesota, and hometown of Minneapolis, I feel confident that I can speak for all Minnesotans and Twin Citians when I say that we are collectively hurting and in pain for our friends who were hurt or killed, and in a state of shock right now, but that we feel the prayers and the good wishes and loving arms of the world wrapped around us right now in this difficult time. Thank you very much for your love. It is very much appreciated.
Posted By Anonymous : 10:37 PM ET
My prayers and thoughts go out to the families of the victims of this horrible tragedy in Minneapolis. And I hope you don't mind that I quote a few Bible verses:

Psalms 61:1 Hear, O God, my cry; Give heed to my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth I will call out unto You when my heart faints; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (3) For You are a refuge to me, a strong tower before the enemy. (4) Let me sojourn in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the covering of Your wings.

Psalms 71:19 And Your righteousness, O God, is so high, You have done great things. O God, who is like You? (20) You who have shown me many great troubles will revive me again from the depths of the earth. (21) You will increase my greatness and will turn and comfort me. (22) I also will praise You with the harp, I will praise Your faithfulness, my God; I will sing psalms to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. (23) My lips will give a ringing shout when I sing psalms to You, and my soul, which You have redeemed. (24) My tongue also will declare Your righteousness all day long.

Posted By Linda, Loma Linda, CA : 2:56 AM ET
Dear Anderson, I have watched you cover places that I will probably never travel to, but you have traveled to my hometown and have made me see why I love it even more. I now live over the river in St Paul, but grew up in Minneapolis and have traveled that stretch of highway as a student at the U of M, as a family member going to visit relatives in nearby NE Mpls, and as Twins fan to the Metrodome...the public viewing sites are closed off and I have not been able to see this beloved piece a concrete.

Thank you for the bridges of understanding that you and your staff build everyday with your newscasts.

Sincerely, ELizabeth in St Paul
And please come back and vist my beloved Twin Cities in happier times!
Posted By Elizabeth from MN : 3:24 AM ET
We are all waiting and greiving, as well as haunted by the pictures in our hearts of people passed, trapped in cars underwater...can we please get some barges out to the site with cranes and start retreiving our loved ones??
Posted By Kimberly, Mpls. MN : 10:35 AM ET
Thank you Anderson, for coming to Mpls to report on this tragic event. Your compassion and professionalism truly shine as you do your job. Your insight to the event has made it somewhat, easier, if i can say that, to watch and listen to.
It's been a difficult week, now the healing must start, and it's gonna take a long time, but with prayer and the compassion and help of such great people in this State of Minnesota and across our country, i feel this process is gonna be ok.
Posted By Barb, Brooklyn Ctr, MN : 1:05 PM ET
All-

I am a resident of the Twin Cities. I am also an officer. I am proud of the way ALL of those who responded to the collapse. It was an amazing sight to see people help without a second thought. This is a tradegy period.
AC thank you for taking the time to come to the TC, I honestly never thoguht you would be here for any other reason than the upcoming Rebulican National Convention. I have been watching your coverage and you are doing a great job, as are our locals.
Posted By Laurel TC Resident : 2:15 PM ET
To Linda of Loma Linda, Please keep your Bible beating off the AC 360 blog. If I want to read the Bible, I know where I can find one. Thanks.
Posted By Barbara, Culver City, CA : 4:56 PM ET
With highest respect to all the viewers, I believe the commentor who quoted the Bible has a right to invoke her blessings on the Minnesota families, just as the viewer who does not live within biblical principles has a right to say her peace.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs. Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh. And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

Peace be with you all
Posted By Cary-- Lowell, IN : 5:46 PM ET
To Barbara in Culver City-

we all base our comments on our morality and ethics. For some, it's the Talmud. For some, the Bible is that foundation. For some,it's the Koran. Some people don't use a text. You can speak in a non-religious way, if you choose. That's what is great about our country. We're free to speak whatever we want.

No one is saying you have to also believe what that commmenter said to the Minn. families. No one is even saying you have to read it.
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 7:15 PM ET
Watching the coverage the past two days I am appalled at the collapse, impressed by the bravery of the first responders, and concerned that we as a nation are routinely running vast amounts of traffic across bridges not designed for the current load. I hope that Congress will drop a lot of their earmarks and use the money to upgrade our infrastructure - bridges, water treatment plants, water plants for our drinking water, etc. as Stephen Flynn and other commentators said on your show.

I would hate to see another of these tragedies in my lifetime.
Posted By Merrill P., Vestavia Hills, AL : 10:13 PM ET
To Barbara of Culver City, this is the first time I've ever quoted the Bible on the AC 360 blog. So personally, I wouldn't call it "Bible beating". As for your "peaceful" suggestion, I wrote the comments down, and the administrators of the blog made the decision to put it on here, now didn't they? That's all I have to say about that.
Posted By Linda, Loma Linda, CA : 10:39 PM ET
I wanted to send in my personal gratitude to everyone who has helped during this time, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all…

Blessings

Tracy-Marie
Posted By Tracy-Marie Anderson, N.S. Canada : 1:03 AM ET
Anderson,

Thank you, thank you, for your great coverage of the bridge collapse here in Minneapolis. As always, you conducted yourself with great class and compassion, and raised all the right questions. This is the worst tragedy to hit Minnesota, certainly in my lifetime (I'm almost 31), and possibly in the entire history of the state. Like many, I'm baffled as to how a bridge can just fall apart like that. I've already heard a number of close-call stories... among them was one of my mom's brothers, who drove over that bridge just three hours before it collapsed. I hope you and the rest of the CNN team plan to keep abreast of this story as the investigation plays out, so the whole world can find out what went wrong and why, and (I hope) prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening to another community.

Bless you!
Posted By Linnea, Bloomington, MN : 1:07 AM ET
Anderson,
We just got word that my cousins who live in the twin cities are all ok. My counsin's office at the university looks out at the bridge. She said she watched the whole collapse unfold from her office window. She told us it was one of the most horrifying things she has ever seen in her life. My thoughts are with the families of the missing.
Thank you for reporting on this event!
Posted By Pamina, New Rochelle, NY : 2:56 PM ET
I am still waiting to hear from my cousin. She very well may have been crossing the bridge at the time it went down. Let's hope she is just ignoring my calls...Thanks, Anderson, for all you do.
Posted By Paula Puyallup,WA : 11:36 PM ET
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