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Recovery crews resumed searching the water Monday for people who may be trapped in their cars after driving off a bridge that partially collapsed when it was hit by barges and a tugboat.

Police said at least four people have been confirmed dead and an unknown number are missing in the Queen Isabella Causeway after the collision Saturday that knocked out part of the bridge, the only one linking Port Isabel and South Padre Island.

Recovery efforts were temporarily suspended Sunday because a portion of the bridge was unstable, said Adrian Rivera, a Department of Public Safety spokesman. Divers on Monday examined the bridge to make sure it is stable enough for rescuers to search nearby, said Coast Guard spokesman Rob Wyman.

Rivera said the bodies of Stevan Rivas and Giaspar Hinojosa have been recovered, and that two other bodies have been seen in the water. A crane removed one vehicle from the water Monday afternoon.

Poor visibility in the Laguna Madre and tidal currents have moved the sunken vehicles and are hampering recovery efforts.

Judge in McVeigh trial
receives a liver transplant

DENVER (AP) -- U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch had only a few hours' notice that he would receive a liver transplant at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Matsch, who presided at the Oklahoma City bombing trials, was told Sunday morning to prepare for surgery and had the five-hour operation later in the day. He was in fair and stable condition at the hospital Monday, officials said.

Matsch, 71, was expected to remain in the hospital one or two weeks. He had primary sclerosing cholangitis, an inflammatory condition that restricts bile ducts, causing a buildup of fluid that can lead to infections.

He was placed on a transplant waiting list last year. He was hospitalized twice last month with infections caused by the progressive liver disease.

As chief judge of the federal court in Denver, Matsch was assigned to oversee the trials of former Pendleton, N.Y., resident Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry Nichols in 1996 after a judge ruled that neither could receive a fair trial in Oklahoma City on charges in the April 1995 bombing, which killed 168 people.

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