Just before 2 p.m. on March 15, Florida International University’s brand-new bridge that was installed less than a week ago collapsed on cars stopped at a red light, injuring and killing several bystanders. Emergency services believe there are at least 8 vehicles trapped under the 950-ton structure. Multiple people are dead, multiple cars are crushed, and at least one person has been transported to the hospital trauma unit.
The bridge, which was located at 109th Ave and 8th Street, was built to help students more safely cross the street. It was put up on Saturday using a new approach to bridge construction, which involved lifting and swinging the bridge into place. The bridge was government-funded and privately-built as part of an FIU initiative, which also included building a plaza and sidewalks.
At the time of this writing, 8th Street has been shut down in both directions.
FIU Releases Statement, Working with Authorities
The bridge was reportedly designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers and was built by MCM, both private companies, according to FIU officials.
FIU has released a statement in response:
“We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge. At this time we are still involved in the rescue efforts and gathering information. We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene. We will share updates as we have them.”
Our hearts go out to those who have been injured or killed in this tragic accident. We hope the emergency responders quickly and safely recover every person trapped under the rubble. We will be making a contribution to the American Red Cross to help with the disaster assistance and would encourage others to do so as well.