Several people killed after Florida college campus bridge collapses, trapping people and cars underneath
Several people were killed when a bridge under construction on a Florida college campus collapsed Thursday, crushing a number of cars underneath, authorities said.
The 950-ton pedestrian bridge, meant to connect the Florida International University campus with a nearby Miami suburb, caved in just before 2 p.m., pinning eight cars below, according to investigators.
“There are several fatalities,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Camacho told the Daily News. “I just don’t know how many yet.”
Eight people were rushed to nearby hospitals after the collapse, Miami fire officials said. It was not immediately known what caused the bridge to cave or how many people were trapped in the rubble.
More than 100 rescue workers with search dogs and special microphones were looking for survivors, fire officials said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he’s travelling to FIU Thursday afternoon.
FIU, which has more than 50,000 enrolled students, said school officials are working “closely” with first responders.
“We are shocked and saddened by the tragic events unfolding,” the university said in a statement.
The $14.2 million, 289-foot-long pathway was installed last Saturday using the Accelerated Bridge Construction method, an expedited technique that has never been used for a project this large.
University President Mark Rosenberg boasted that the project is the “first-of-its-kind,” touting it as an “instant bridge.”
“FIU is about building bridges and student safety,” Rosenberg said in a statement. “This project accomplishes our mission beautifully.”
FIGG Engineering, the Pennsylvania-based construction company working on the bridge, pledged to “cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why.”
“In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before,” the company said in a statement. “Our entire team mourns the loss of life and injuries associated with this devastating tragedy, and our prayers go out to all involved.”