Equipment Type

Update: FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse - 6 Dead

Police do not expect to find more survivors

March 15, 2018

Operations have shifted from rescue to body recovery today at the FIU pedestrian bridge that fell onto Tamiami Trail yesterday in Miami. The main section of the bridge, about 175-feet long, abruptly gave way Thursday afternoon while contractor's crews were doing stress tests on the unfinished structure. Four people were killed and other injured when the cement structure crushed eight cars passing beneath it.

Emergency crews worked through the night. Rescue dogs were brought in to find survivors and Miami Mayor Gimenez ordered workers to use license plates on the trapped cars to identify victims so families could be notified as quickly as possible. Ten people were taken to the hospital with varying degrees of injuries.

Miami Fire Chief Dave Downey said there was no hope of finding survivors under the cement slabs. "We exhausted last night all of our search and rescue capabilities in the hopes of finding additional survivors," he said. "This is going to be a long term operation."

The 950-ton concrete walkway when completed was intended to connect Florida International University to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus student housing area, went up less than a week ago but was not yet operational. The support mast had not yet been installed, and stair, elevators and connectors needed to be built.

The 175-foot span had been tested and tension cables were adjusted while it was being assembled along side the road before last weekend's installation.

Senator Marco Rubio said in a Twitter post that: “The cables that suspend the Miami bridge had loosened & the engineering firm ordered that they be tightened. They were being tightened when it collapsed today.”

Last weekend the university had celebrated the installation of the bridge for both its innovative construction methods and for providing a safe crossway over an intersection that has been the scene of many accidents and one student death last year.

FIGG Engineering Group and Munilla Construction Management are two of the companies involved with the design and installation of the bridge.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a 15-person team to help investigate the accident.

image: MiamiDadeFire/Twitter




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