Photos of the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed this past summer show the span had warped connector plates as early as four years before the accident.
The photos are part of a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. They reveal visible bends in steel plates that were to hold parts of the bridge together.
The plates are in areas that are believed to have failed first when bridge collapsed in August. Thirteen people died in the accident.
Minnesota’s Department of Transportation won’t say when it first knew about the bending in the steel.
The Star Tribune newspaper reports inspection records make no mention of any repairs to the bending plates.
The NTSB tells the paper the bending is among the “many things” that officials are looking into as they investigate the collapse.