In reality, 42 of the 63 earthquake victims were killed when the viaduct collapsed. Residents of West Oakland rushed to the scene, using their own ladders and ropes to climb up into the wreckage and rescue people trapped within.
The number of deaths is still being determined. On Monday, the National Transportation Safety Board said it was planning to send a team to California to investigate the cause of the tragedy.
Initially, police reported that seven people were dead, but this number has since been revised down to six. A seventh victim, a male believed to be in his 80's, was identified by authorities on Tuesday. He had no identification with him other than a Medicare card, but he is known to local officials and employees of the hospital where he worked.
According to reports, he was walking home from work on his daily walk when the earthquake struck. His body was found about a quarter mile away from the site of the original collapse.
Another person who died was also identified by medical staff at Highland Hospital in Oakland, although they were not related to each other. They have only given one name so far: Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, a 40-year-old Mexican national.
He had come to the United States several years ago and was living in an apartment building near the site of the original collapse.
The viaduct collapse caused 42 of the quake's total 67 deaths, and the death toll may have been greater if the average number of commuters were on the roadway. Many cars in both cities had either gone early or lingered late to watch the game, reducing traffic on the bridge at the time.
In San Francisco, there were an estimated 400,000 vehicles crossing the bridge each day at the time of the earthquake. If everyone driving on the day of the disaster had stopped at once, this would have reduced traffic by about 20 percent, which is more than enough to contain all pedestrian and vehicle fatalities within reasonable limits.
However, it is likely that not everyone stopped driving at once, so this estimate only tells us what would have happened if all vehicles had stopped together. In fact, some drivers may have increased their speed instead, since they did not see other vehicles stopping ahead of them. This could have also contributed to more deaths than actually occurred.
Also, while most of the victims were in California, several other people died in related accidents across the country. The official count is 67, but this number may never be known with certainty.
A 200-metre piece of the bridge, including one of its three supporting towers, fell a few minutes later. The disaster killed 43 individuals and displaced 600 others. It is considered the worst construction accident in Italian history.
The Genova Bridge is one of two main bridges across the River Po in Italy's Liguria region. It links the city centre on the eastern bank to its port on the western bank. The other bridge is the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridgeway of the sighs). It crosses over the Po river about half way between the two cities. The name comes from the many refugees who have arrived in Liguria since 1945 having lost their lives while trying to reach France via Switzerland.
The Genova Bridge was opened in 1931 by Benito Mussolini, then prime minister of Italy. At the time it was one of the most modern bridges in Europe. However it was also very expensive and almost bankrupt when it collapsed just three years later. Before its collapse the Genova Bridge had been identified as being at risk by both the government and the consortium that built it. Although there were plans to replace it, these were never carried out due to lack of funding.
In December 2013 the government announced a new investigation into the cause of the collapse.
A 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area on the afternoon of October 17, 1989, killing 63 people and causing $13 billion in damage as it toppled a section of the Bay Bridge, collapsed a section of freeway in Oakland, and crumbled thousands of buildings from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. The quake also caused the U.S. Navy ship USS Valley Forge to hit a bay shoreline near Morgan Hill, California.
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a two-lane suspension bridge that connects the cities of San Francisco and Oakland across the southern end of the San Francisco Bay. Opened in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is one of only two remaining pre-1957 suspension bridges still in use today (the other being the Golden Gate Bridge). It is 1.7 miles long and has a main span of 1,017 feet. The bridge crosses over the channels of the bay between Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco and Jack London Square in Oakland.
In addition to its role as a transportation link, the bridge has been important for social interaction and economic development among its neighboring communities. In order to maintain their jobs, local workers had to travel back and forth across the bridge during its construction. The experience inspired artists to create designs for both sides of the bridge, leading to the now-famous "Artist's Impression" series.
12 employees During the bridge's construction, at least 12 laborers were murdered. The first accident occurred when the cofferdam for the New Jersey tower's north base crumbled under the full force of the Hudson River, killing three workers. Another fatal incident occurred when a steel beam fell on top of a truck carrying bricks down from the site. The driver was killed instantly. A third death occurred when a concrete form collapsed during dry-casting operations. The final death occurred when an electrician fell to his death while installing wiring in one of the towers.
Over 100 people have also been injured while working on the project. Many more have suffered from work-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
The number of deaths varies depending on who is counting them. The New York Times reports that "at least 117 people have died on the job" while building the bridge. Other sources say there have been up to 150 deaths. The National Safety Council says there have been about 130 accidents related to the bridge project so far. Of these, 11 were fatal.
It's not clear how many of the deaths were work-related. Some may have been due to natural causes beyond the control of the bridge builders. For example, the truck driver probably died of a heart attack while driving home after putting in a long day's work.