Bridge Victims: Mother, Daughter Laid to Rest


In an emotional funeral, about 100 family and friends gathered Saturday afternoon for a double funeral for a pregnant woman and her daughter, whose bodies were recovered Thursday and Friday from the site of the Aug. 1 bridge collapse.

At the Burnsville Islamic Cemetery, Sadiya Sahal, 23, was buried roughly 20-feet from her two-year-old daughter, Hana.

“Everyone at our congregation remembers her as the nice young woman whose daughter is with her all the time,” said Imam Hassan Mahamoud, the prayer leader at the Minnesota Da’awah Institute in St. Paul, where Sahal worshipped. “God preordained that the two die together, buried side-by-side.”

Sahal, who left war-torn Somalia in 1999 to join family members in Minnesota, was a nursing student.

Sahal “escaped tragedy in Somalia, but death found here–under a bridge in Minneapolis,” said Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of Minnesota. “When the bridge tumbled, it didn’t ask for anyone’s identity.”

One after another, people who have known Sahal–even remotely– stepped up to the microphone to say good things about her.

As he listened, Ahmed Sahal, the father of the victim was fighting tears. Unable to talk to the press himself, he asked his imam to do so.

“The family is in the process of relief for getting closure to the case,” said Mahamoud, the St. Paul imam. He’s referring to the fact that the two bodies were recovered more than a week after the bridge collapsed.

New details showing that another victim, whose body was recovered Thursday, might have been attempting to help Sahal and her daughter when he drowned to death. Peter Hausmann, a 47-year-old computer consultant from Rosemount, was seen after the collapse helping people. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office determined that, unlikely most other victims, Hausmann died from drowning, and was found away from his vehicle.

Mohmamoud said the family recognizes “that hero.”