6 dead, but toll could rise further in Florida bridge collapse

World Today

In Florida, six people are confirmed dead after a pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a busy roadway. That toll is expected to rise.

Police believe more bodies are still trapped in the rubble. CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez has more.

Emergency workers at the site of a collapsed bridge in Florida have moved from trying to rescuing those who survived to recovering the bodies of those who didn’t.

“The most critical thing is to get to the victims, get to the remains of the people that are under beneath that bridge so that we can take them to a proper place, so that their families can have the appropriate burial and ceremonies that they want to have, for that last chance to be with their family members,” Juan Perez of the Miami-Dade Police Department said.

On Friday, several vehicles remained trapped under the rubble, produced when a pedestrian bridge under construction at Florida International University suddenly collapsed Thursday afternoon.  Surveillance video shows the moment it gave way.

The 950-ton span of the state-of-the-art bridge was installed only a few days ago, using a high-tech automated construction technique that was supposed to be cheaper, faster and safer.

The president of Florida International University, the institution that commissioned the structure, said workers were on the bridge, conducting some tests when it collapsed. Officials are promising a thorough investigation into what caused the failure.

“The investigation is vital because we want to ensure that this type of accident doesn’t happen again locally, or anywhere else in this country,” Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Maurice Kemp said.

Federal authorities are investigating the accident. The bridge had been intended to provide a safe way to for the university’s students to cross over a heavily trafficked highway. It’s not clear what will happen to the project now.