Bush says government will help rebuild Minneapolis bridge

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - President Bush is pledging federal help to ensure the collapsed Minneapolis bridge is rebuilt as quickly as possible.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden following a Cabinet meeting, Bush offered his condolences to the victims and their families. The official death toll from the accident stands at four, but police say it will rise, with as many as 30 bodies still trapped in submerged vehicles.

Bush says the federal government must respond "robustly" to help people in the area and the city itself recover. He described the bridge as a "lifeline of activity" for the city.

The 40-year-old Interstate 35W bridge spanned the Mississippi River and served as a major artery through Minneapolis.

Bush has sent Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to the city, where she announced a five-million-dollar grant to help pay the cost of rerouting traffic around the disaster.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)