BREAKING: Bridge collapses at Florida Intl. University, leading to “several fatalities,” authorities say. pic.twitter.com/0yIwDPqSZz
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 15, 2018
According to several outlets, a new pedestrian bridge at Miami’s Florida International University collapsed onto a busy roadway on Thursday afternoon. The Miami Herald initially reported that although the number of possible fatalities was still unknown, the collapsed bridge did succeed in “trapping an unknown number of people and cars underneath” it. However, Florida Highway Patrol subsequently confirmed with CBS News that “several people” had died due to the collapse, though they did not offer a clear number. A breaking news report on CNBC also confirmed that there were “several fatalities” in the bridge collapse.
Twitter user Gabriela Collazo posted a video of the bridge collapse’s aftermath online, saying “the bridge at FIU just collapsed out of nowhere.” Another person off camera added, “They’re pulling workers out of a hole right now!”
According to a previous report by the Herald, the new pedestrian bridge was installed on Saturday and was set to open in 2019. Dubbed an “instant bridge” by its designers, the pre-made structure was called an “innovative installation method” by “a collaboration between MCM Construction and FIGG Bridge Design.” During its initial installation on Saturday, it was put in place with temporary supports that were to be replaced with something more permanent in the near future.
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed’s David Mack took a screenshot of a recently-deleted tweet by the engineering company BDI from Monday praising the bridge’s installation. “We are thrilled to have performed structural monitoring during a spectacular bridge move,” it read.
UPDATE — 4:25 pm ET: In a statement, MCM Construction acknowledged that the bridge “experienced a catastrophic collapse causing injuries and loss of life.” What’s more, the company insisted they “will conduct a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong and will cooperate with investigators on scene in every way.”