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Public Health and Safety

Page history last edited by Steve Escher 15 years, 3 months ago


The public's health and safety was the main concern after the 35W Bridge collapse.  Many people were affected emotionally and turned to outside sources for counseling.  Organizations from all over Minnesota helped in various ways by donating money to charities, volunteering as mentors, and monitoring the air and water quality of the Mississippi river.






Shocked Citizens Gaze In Horror At The 35W Bridge 30 Minutes After The Collapse




Public Health And Safety Regarding Spills


According the US Census FactFinder, no residential populations exist in the blocks directly impacted by the collapse of the 35W Bridge on both north and south banks.  However, dense student and other poulations reside in the surrounding blocks on the north bank. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) was one of the agencies monitoring the immediate health and safety of the public by looking for spills.  Workers scoured the Mississippi for petroleum primarily.  They concluded that there was no immediate threat from anything that was spilled.  Among the items that were crushed or had lost contents to the Mississippi, were three rail cars which held plastic pellets, plastic powder, and ethanol.



Mental Health Counseling


Counselors from the county's mental health department helped survivors deal with emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  The Hennepin county children's health services had been working on a disaster response plan, and were ready to implement its use after the collapse of the bridge on August 1. The county was thought to have the deepest resources and best staff for taking the initiative in reaching out to traumatized individuals that witnessed the tragic event or were victims of it.  Volunteers from local non-profits and private mental health facilities worked with families that were immigrants and spoke English as their second language to provide emotional support and counseling.


The Minnesota Department of Health set up information on their home page emphasizing current events from the bridge collapse, recruiting volunteers that wanted to contribute, and providing individuals with the chance to recover mentally and physically by listing mental health services links on their home page.


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