COPY-One Dead, One Missing In Bay Bridge Accident

One worker has died, and the search is still on for another worker after an accident at the Bay St. Louis Bridge Thursday afternoon. Officials are now calling it a search and recovery mission, and divers are searching the underwater debris for the last victim.

Just before 1pm, nine workers fell into the water after a column form collapsed during a concrete pour. Eight of the men were pulled from the water.

Ambulances transported three of the victims to Hancock Medical Center in Bay St. Louis. Five were taken to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. Alger Pennamn, 51, of Jackson died shortly after arriving at Memorial Hospital. Hospital officials say all the other men are now in stable condition.

Harrison County Sheriff's officials say the men were working on the north side of the bridge, when one of the columns collapsed.

"They were pouring concrete into this column, and they had to vibrate it to make it settle, and something gave way. We don't know exactly what happened," Major Wayne Payne told WLOX.

"It was a column under construction. They had about nine people working on that column, and that column gave way and went into the water."

The bridge was closed for a short while, but reopened to traffic once the south side lanes were inspected and deemed safe for travel.

The workers involved in the accident were employed by Granite Archer Western, the contractor in charge of building the new bridge. Company officials say they don't want to comment on the accident until they learn more about what exactly happened.