Nevada Appeal at 150: Dec. 17, 1967: 46 dead, 33 missing in bridge disaster | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Appeal at 150: Dec. 17, 1967: 46 dead, 33 missing in bridge disaster

Point Pleasant, W.V. — (AP) — In one of the worst bridge disasters in U.S. history, rescue team coordinators called off the search late Saturday night for victims of an Ohio River bridge tragedy which left eight persons dead and at least 33 unaccounted for.

West Virginia Civil Defense Coordinator James Hampton said teams of divers wearing deep-sea type equipment had explored the river near this western West Virginia town for more than six hours but had found nothing of consequence.

The 1,750-foot bridge linking Ohio and West Virginia was crammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic when disaster struck.

Eyewitnesses estimated as many as 75 cars and trucks were on the span when it gave away with a thunderous roar and disappeared into the swiftly flowing stream.

Officials said the river’s current and the 40-degree temperature of the water prohibited effective use of the skin divers.

A full moon shone on the disaster site, with temperatures in the area below freezing.

Authorities refused to speculate on how may vehicles might be in the river.

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.