Pedestrian Bridge Collapses in Miami; Several Hurt

Danny Woods
March 17, 2018

The 14.2 million dollar bridge crossed over a busy seven-lane road that divided a Florida International University campus from the city of Sweetwater.

Its new pedestrian bridge in Miami was hailed as a technological innovation before it collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people.

He said if anyone did anything wrong, "we will hold them accountable".

At least four people died Thursday when a pedestrian bridge collapsed near Florida International University, Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey said.

Authorities on Friday said they fear there could be more fatalities beyond the six deaths already confirmed.

The 950-ton bridge was installed on Saturday using a method meant to reduce risk to workers, pedestrians, and drivers, The Miami Herald reported.

"We could only see eight [vehicles] from the exterior of the bridge", Estopinan said, adding that he did not know how many total cars might be affected.

Police say eight cars were trapped underneath. One patient with severe extremity injuries arrived in a coma, McKenney said. "It sounded like the world was ending, and when you look back, all you see is the bridge on the floor. That could have easily been me and my boyfriend under that bridge had we not turned right and made a decision to stay at the light and gone a different direction".

A fuel tanker makes her way under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on April 23, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Mendez drove forward, saw crushed vehicles and realized "this was not on goal, this was a catastrophe", she told CNN.

"It's insane", she said, her voice breaking with emotion, "because you have this person asking you for help and the police officer starts telling you, 'You can't".

"Our prayers go out to all those impacted", Perez said. Other motorists rushed out of their cars to help. The driver was killed, but the passenger was rescued, Mendez said.

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She found out about the accident through a friend who was a passenger in Duran's auto but was able to escape.

Hope of finding more survivors in the rubble of a collapsed pedestrian bridge in Florida has faded, officials have said.

"The structure is very fragile, it's very unsafe for rescuers", a police spokesman said at an early morning press conference.

"We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge", Florida International University said in a statement.

The pedestrian bridge at Florida International University was built over the course of several months on the side of the highway it would eventually be placed over.

Local The FIU community, along with Sweetwater and county officials, held a "bridge watch party" on March 10 when the span was lifted from its temporary supports, rotated 90 degrees and lowered into what was supposed to be its permanent position. The 950-ton span was installed on Saturday to great fanfare.

The bridge was built to make the area safer, after a student was killed a year ago crossing that street. "But today, we're sad. Now we're feeling enormous sadness, uncontrollable sadness".

It was created to withstand the strength of a Category 5 hurricane, the fact sheet said, and was supposed to last for more than 100 years. It is part of a $124 million expansion of the campus.

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technology was used in the construction, according to the university.

Betancourt ran around the building and was sickened not just by the broken bridge plunging at an angle into the pavement below.

Florida's lawmakers also expressed sympathy for the victims of the collapse and called for an investigation into what led to the incident. The employee's lawyer alleges that a makeshift bridge MCM built for workers to use while the company does construction at the airport broke under his weight.

"In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before", the statement said. But two of the companies involved in the construction had been previously fined by the government for safety violations.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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