Earlier this evening, a bridge that's part of Interstate 35 in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River. In a scene that can only be described as horrific and catastrophic, vehicles and debris plunged into the water below. Additionally, a freight train passing underneath the bridge was struck and essentially cut in two by a falling section. According to authorities in Minnesota, at least 59 people, including 10 children, were injured. Sadly, as of this writing, 7 people have reportedly lost their lives as a result of this tragedy.

The event is being described as a structural failure and not an act of terrorism, an understandable concern at the time it occurred given the scope of the accident. Traffic at the time of the collapse (6:10 PM) was said to be bumper-to-bumper, as there was construction underway and many people were trying to get into downtown Minneapolis for the 7:10 PM Twins game at the Metrodome. Our condolences go to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and our thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery go to the injured.

UPDATE: Georges Yared, a contributor at our sister site, BloggingStocks, was in the stands at last night's Twins game. Because his son insisted on getting to the dome early to watch the Twins' BP session, he crossed the bridge a full 35 minutes before the collapse. His post at BloggingStocks provides a firsthand account of what occurred inside Metrodome as the news of the disaster spread.

[Source: MSNBC, Local TV video via YouTube]