Bing home page featured I-35W Bridge on 2nd anniversary of collapse

Most of the time, the images on the Bing home page are pretty pictures, sometimes with topical connections, but rarely controversial. Today’s US image was a little different, before it was apparently pulled and replaced by an image of a bridge in France.  Perhaps today’s picture in the US was coincidental, perhaps it was meant in homage, or perhaps it may have been somewhat an error in judgment.  In any case, the image showed a view of Minneapolis’s 3rd Street Bridge and behind it an intact I-35W Bridge, which collapsed 2 years ago this weekend,  killing 13 and injuring 145.

A number of Twitter messages mentioned the image and the inclusion of the ill-fated bridge, which is the subject of a new lawsuit filed by the State of Minnesota against a company it had contracted to inspect the bridge and suggest repairs.

We’re not sure why the image was pulled (or why it was chosen in the first place). We’ve asked, and will update this post with any statement from Microsoft.  In deference to anyone who may have feelings about the image, we won’t post it here, although Long Zheng does have it in his archive.

Update:  A Microsoft spokesperson offered this statement:

“The Bing homepage image was updated shortly after 1:00pm PDT, after it was brought to our attention that the previous image of Minneapolis included the I-35 bridge which collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007. We apologize to anyone who may have been offended.”