July 15, 2014 in Washington

Officials: I-5 bridge collapse caused by regulatory failures

ASSOCIATED PRESS
 

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says that insufficient route planning, a distracted pilot driver and an inadequate permitting process by the state of Washington all played a part in the Interstate 5 bridge collapse north of Seattle last year.

The four-member board voted unanimously Tuesday after a nearly two-hour hearing to issue a number of recommendations, including banning nonessential cellphone use by pilot car drivers and better warnings of low-clearance bridges, as well as lane-specific guidance for clearance on bridges.

A section of the bridge fell into the water after a truck carrying a tall load hit the bridge in Mount Vernon, about 60 miles north of Seattle. Two other vehicles fell into the river, and three people were rescued with minor injuries.

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