A pedestrian bridge stretching across a street on the Florida International University campus in Miami collapsed Thursday afternoon, killing multiple people, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Aerial footage showed first responders tending to victims on the scene, searching for people in the rubble and loading others on stretchers into ambulances.
Five to six vehicles were crushed in the collapse, the highway patrol said.
Witness Tiona Page told ABC News that the screams coming from the cars were “terrifying.”
“As soon as I looked outside, I saw dust flying everywhere,” she said. “I knew the bridge had collapsed.”
The hood of a dark-colored sedan could be seen trapped underneath the fallen bridge, while the other half of the car was sticking out from the wreckage. It is unclear if the driver or any passengers inside that car were injured or killed.
In a statement, the university said it was “shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding on campus.”
“At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information,” the university said. “We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was aware of the collapse and that he would be in “constant communication” with law enforcement throughout the day.
I have spoken with Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez about the pedestrian bridge collapse at FIU. I will be in constant communication with law enforcement throughout the day.
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A section 8th Street was closed earlier this month to allow workers to position a 174-foot bridge, according to PantherNOW, a university newspaper.
First-of-its-kind pedestrian bridge “swings” into place. “FIU is about building bridges and student safety. This project accomplishes our mission beautifully,” -President Mark B. Rosenberg. http://bit.ly/2IihmUm #worldsahead
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FIU touted the bridge to be a first of its kind, tweeting that it swung into place on Saturday.
According to an FIU press release, the 174-foot, 950-ton bridge was just installed “in a few hours” using “accelerated bridge construction” methods, which the university said “reduces potential risks to workers, commuters, and pedestrians and minimizes traffic interruptions.”
The street that the bridge stretches over, 8th Street, is a busy road that runs from downtown Miami and west all the to the Everglades.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Source: ABC News (JULIA JACOBO)
Photo Credit: WRWH
Photo Credit: GabrielaRose12/Twitter
Photo Credit: WPLG