A pedestrian bridge built on an eight-lane highway at a Miami-area university collapsed on Thursday, killing at least four people after crushing eight vehicles, officials said.
At a press conference in the evening, Dave Downer, chief of Miami-Dade County firefighters said rescuers found four people who died there, and that nine more victims were taken to hospitals. He did not give details about his state of health.
“Everyone works hard to make sure we rescue anyone who can be rescued,” said Governor Rick Scott, and warned that an investigation will get to the bottom of “why this happened and what happened,” and that anyone who has done something wrong or illegal will have to render accounts.
The bridge of 970 tons and 53 meters (174 feet) in length was assembled on the side of the highway and was installed on Saturday. The work, with a cost of 14.2 million dollars, connected the International University of Florida (FIU, for its acronym in English) with the city of Sweetwater. It was expected to open to pedestrian traffic next year.
We are surprised and saddened by the tragic events that unfold on the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this moment we are still involved in the rescue work and gathering information, “the school said in a statement.