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UPDATE: All Victims Recovered In Miami Bridge Collapse, Police Say

Florida officials say they received a warning about cracks before the bridge collapsed

The LATEST on the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University:

10:11 a.m. (Central Time) (Sunday, March 18, 2018)

Police say they believe all the victims killed in the bridge collapse near Miami are accounted for.

“We believe that we’ve recovered the final two individuals, final two victims, from underneath the bridge,” Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez told reporters late Saturday night, though he added recovery efforts would continue.

Five bodies were recovered from the wreckage Saturday, police said. A sixth victim died at the hospital, NPR reported.

“We’re pretty confident that no one’s left,” Perez said, though he said recovery efforts would continue.

These are two news releases from the Miami-Dade Police Department reporting the identities of the victims: 

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10:29 a.m. (Central Time) (Saturday, March 17, 2018)

During a media briefing held on Saturday morning, Juan Perez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, reported two more vehicles were being removed from the scene and said three bodies had been found in those vehicles.

Perez detailed the bodies would be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office, where they would be identified.

Perez referred the media to the NTSB for information about the cause for the collapse of the bridge.

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9:05 p.m. (Central Time) (Friday, March 16, 2018)

Florida transportation officials say that an engineer with the private firm that designed the concrete bridge that collapsed Thursday called the state two days before the incident to report cracks in the structure.

It’s not immediately known whether the reported cracks contributed to the collapse of the pedestrian walkway that was intended to join the campus of Florida International University (FIU) and the city of Sweetwater.

This photo taken on March 15, 2018, shows NTSB Investigator in Charge Robert Accetta (left) and NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt observe the damage caused by Thursday’s bridge collapse Florida International University’s campus. Sumwalt is leading the Go Team for the investigation of the collapse.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) released a transcript of a voicemail left on Tuesday March 13, by W. Denney Pate, lead engineer with FIGG Bridge Engineers, a Tallahassee firm.

“‘Hey Tom, this is Denney Pate with FIGG bridge engineers. Calling to, uh, share with you some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span, the pylon end of that span we moved this weekend. Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that. At any rate, I wanted to chat with you about that because I suspect at some point that’s gonna get to your desk. So, uh, at any rate, call me back when you can. Thank you. Bye.'”

According to a FDOT statement, the voicemail was not heard by an agency employee until Friday, March 16, after he returned to his office from an assignment. The bridge collapsed on Thursday.

The FDOT statement does not identify “Tom,” the employee with whom Pate was attempting to share his information.

FDOT also noted that the university, FIU, bore the responsibility for the bridge’s construction.

“The responsibility to identify and address life-safety issues and properly communicate them is the sole responsibility of the FIU design build team. At no point during any of the communications above did FIGG or any member of the FIU design build team ever communicate a life-safety issue. Again, FIGG and the FIU design build team never alerted FDOT of any life-safety issue regarding the FIU pedestrian bridge prior to collapse.”

The engineering company Figg said in a statement that it is working with authorities to determine the cause of the collapse.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of life and injuries, and are carefully examining the steps that our team has taken in the interest of our overarching concern for public safety. The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues. We will pursue answers to find out what factors led to this tragic situation, but it is important that the agencies responsible for investigating this devastating situation are given the appropriate time in order to accurately identify what factors led to the accident during construction.”

Search-and-rescue teams have been carefully unearthing bodies and vehicles from under the concrete bridge that collapsed suddenly in Miami on Thursday afternoon. 

The Associated Press (AP) reported that, during a news conference held on Friday night, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they have just begun their investigation, and cannot yet say whether any cracking contributed to the collapse.

They also said workers were trying to strengthen a diagonal member on the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University when it collapsed.

Robert Accetta, the investigator-in-charge for the NTSB, said crews were applying post-tensioning force, but investigators aren’t sure if that’s what caused the bridge to fall.

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8:00 a.m. (Central Time) (Friday, March 16, 2018)

The number of people who died after a newly placed pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University (FIU) has risen to six, as crews work to clear debris and wreckage from the scene in Miami-Dade County.

In addition to the six people who were found dead at the site, 10 others were transported to area hospitals, Miami-Dade Police said in an update on the accident Friday morning.

Weighing some 950 tons, the pedestrian bridge was still under construction along the edge of Florida International University’s campus when it collapsed Thursday afternoon on a major roadway, trapping motorists and passengers underneath.

“We have multiple victims; the number hasn’t been determined yet,” Miami Dade County Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Initially, authorities said four bodies had been recovered, but later, Miami Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said the remains of two more people had been removed from the debris.

“They’re still working away at that concrete,” Zabaleta said at a news conference early Friday.

“Engineers told us last night that it has to be done very carefully. Not only because we have to preserve evidence, not only because there might be possible victims under there and we have to treat it very delicately. But because of the safety of the rescuers,” he said.

More than 100 search-and-rescue workers were using heavy equipment, search dogs and cranes, officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a team to investigate the incident.

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Trump calls bridge collapse ‘heartbreaking’

7:30 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

President Donald Trump says on Twitter that he’s monitoring the “heartbreaking bridge collapse” at Florida International University in the Miami area.

Trump is calling the bridge collapse “so tragic” and praising the bravery of first responders who “rushed in to save lives. Thank you for your courage.” The president tweets that he is praying for “all who are affected.”

Officials say multiple people have been killed and eight people have been taken to the hospital. The section of bridge spanning a busy road in South Florida had just been installed Saturday.

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Doctor: Hospital got 10 injured in bridge fall

6 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

A doctor says his hospital received 10 injured people — two of them critically — from the pedestrian bridge collapse at a Florida university.

Dr. Mark McKenney says at a news conference Thursday that two of the people Kendall Regional Medical Center received were in “extremely critical” condition. He says the other eight were stable, with injuries such as “bruises and abrasions to broken bones.”

Of the two more serious cases, McKenney said one arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest but was revived, and the other has a serious brain injury.

The new pedestrian bridge at Florida International University had been installed across a busy road Saturday.

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Professor: Bridge installation technique risky

5:45 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

An engineering professor says the decision to use what the builders called an “innovative installation” for a Florida pedestrian bridge that collapsed was risky.

Robert Bea of the University of California, Berkeley, says it’s too early to know exactly what happened in the collapse Thursday on the campus of at Florida International University in the Miami area.

But he questions the builders’ decision to try a “rapid span installation” where the 174-foot-long (55-meter-long) span was prefabricated, then swung into place before its central support tower was built. The section was put into place across a busy eight-lane road Saturday.

Bea said trying something new that crossed a highway was a gamble.

 

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5 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

Officials at the scene of a bridge collapse at a Florida university say they are drilling holes into the debris to look for survivors.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said at a Thursday news conference that rescuers are searching the rubble for people who may still be trapped underneath but they did not know how many that might be.

The pedestrian bridge was installed Saturday at Florida International University in the Miami area.

Estopinan said there had been reports of workers on the 174-foot span before it collapsed, and he confirmed that emergency workers did make some “surface rescues.” He said two victims were cut out of the wreckage.

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4:30 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

Officials say multiple people have been killed and eight people have been taken to the hospital in the collapse of a bridge at a Florida university.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said at a Thursday afternoon news conference that there were “multiple victims” but the number hadn’t been determined yet.

Estopinan says eight vehicles were trapped under the new pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in the Miami area.

Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp says search dogs are working the scene.

The section of bridge spanning a busy road had just been installed Saturday.

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3:45 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

Officials say several people have been killed in the collapse of a new pedestrian bridge at a Florida university campus.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho tells CBS News that the collapse Thursday afternoon has caused “several fatalities.”

The 950-ton section of bridge was installed Saturday at Florida International University in the Miami area. It hadn’t yet opened to foot traffic.

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3:15 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

University officials were urging students and others to stay away from the area where a pedestrian bridge collapsed while rescue efforts proceed.

Firetrucks, police and other emergency vehicles were at the scene Thursday afternoon on the campus of Florida International University in the Miami area. Fire officials said multiple people have been injured.

Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was on his way to FIU to be briefed by local law enforcement and university officials.

The university had announced with fanfare Saturday that the main section of the modularly constructed bridge had been swung into place. The university said the “accelerated bridge construction” method was supposed to reduce risks to workers and pedestrians and minimize traffic disruption.

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3 p.m. (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

Miami’s fire department says multiple people have been injured in the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at a Florida university.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department tweeted Thursday afternoon that “multiple patients” had been injured and officials were working to confirm how many. It also said it was securing the structure while searching for injured people.

The newly installed bridge collapsed on the campus of Florida International University in the Miami area.

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A brand-new pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a highway at a Miami-area college Thursday, crushing at least five vehicles. Several people were seen being loaded into ambulances and authorities said they were searching for people.

According to several media outlets in Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol and Miami-Dade authorities reported casualties and several injured. 

Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he had spoken with Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez about the bridge collapse at Florida International University.

“I will be in constant communication with law enforcement throughout the day,” the governor said.

The 950-ton span was installed on Saturday. The main part of the 174-foot span was assembled by the side of the road while support towers were built at either end.

Firetrucks, police and other emergency vehicles were at the scene.

The $14.2 million bridge crossed over a busy seven lane road that divided the university’s campus from the city of Sweetwater.

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A newly-installed pedestrian bridge collapsed Thursday at Florida International University, trapping at least five vehicles underneath.

Live television reports showed several people loaded onto ambulances immediately after the collapse. There was no immediate report of injuries or any fatalities from authorities.

The 950-ton span was installed on Saturday. The main part of the 174-foot span was assembled by the side of the road while support towers were built at either end.

Video showed fire trucks, police and other emergency vehicles at the scene.

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Local live television reports show five or six vehicles trapped under a pedestrian bridge that has collapsed at a Florida university.

The newly installed bridge collapsed Thursday afternoon at Florida International University in the Miami area.

The TV broadcasts also showed several people being loaded onto ambulances immediately after the collapse.

The 950-ton section of bridge was installed Saturday. The bridge’s main 174-foot span was previously assembled by the side of the road while support towers were built at either end.

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A newly installed pedestrian bridge has collapsed at Florida International University in the Miami area and it’s not immediately clear if anyone is hurt.

The 950-ton span fell Thursday afternoon at the university’s main Miami-area campus. Video shows vehicles underneath the bridge were hit.

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