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TOWN MOURNS 5 KILLED IN BRIDGE COLLAPSE

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Residents placed flowers at the foot of a collapsed suspension bridge to mourn the five people who died after the wood-decked span plunged 50 feet while being swayed.

Eighteen others were injured in the collapse.Pedestrians at each end of the 77-year-old bridge ran in an attempt to get off, but as it fell into the Little Red River, people "were just running in the air," said Jennifer Johnson, who was driving to her nearby home when she saw the accident.

Seven people remained hospitalized, with conditions ranging from satisfactory to serious, authorities said.

The 550-foot-long bridge hadn't been open to vehicular traffic since 1972. It had been inspected three times since it was dedicated as a national historic site in 1986, said Cleburne County Judge Harvey Adcock.

The cause of the collapse was under investigation.

At least 30 people were on the bridge Saturday and they were rocking it back and forth when the steel cables snapped, said David Lambert, an engineer for the state Highway and Transportation Department.

There were no signs at either end setting capacity or warning visitors against swinging the bridge. Officials did not believe any warnings were needed, Adcock said.

"If we would have had any inkling that it wasn't safe, we would have had it shut down," Adcock said.

Those on the bridge were attending an annual meeting of the Full Holiness church movement at nearby Prim.