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Published: Sunday, 7/5/2009

Trustee: collapsed Indiana bridge was overloaded; 25 hurt


MERRILLVILLE, Ind. A township trustee says a pedestrian bridge in Merrillville was overcrowded to about twice its capacity before it collapsed after a Fourth of July celebration, sending at least 50 people into the water below and injured about 25 people.

Ross Township Trustee John Rooda (ROO -dah) says the wooded bridge suspended by cables can handle a load of about 40 people at any one time but as many as twice that number were on it when it collapsed Saturday night.

He says police officers were stationed at either end but the crowd rushed them.

Rooda says the bridge has been inspected regularly.

Merrillville police say none of the injuries are life-threatening and no one is missing.

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